We went to the polling place tonight.
We arrived at the place where we usually vote. The parking lot at Arden Road Baptist Church was full. We walked through the door and turned left down the hall, walking past a long, long line of Randall County residents.
We made another turn down another hall and took our place at the end of the line.
It took five minutes past an hour before we cast our ballots.
Man, it was fun!
I remain committed to voting on Election Day. I remain equally committed to the manner we do it in Texas. We have this open primary system. We all stand in the same line. We inch our way to the room with the voting booths. We declare which party we want to vote in. We cast our ballots. Then we leave.
We don’t register with political parties. We make our choice on Election Day — or least we declare our choice when we reach the end of the line.
There’s a certain pageantry to standing in long lines with other citizens seeking to exercise their rights as Americans. We chatted among ourselves, careful of course not to talk about partisan preferences. We joked with election judges who came out to remind us of the need to have our photo ID and voter registration cards handy.
Some states — such as my home state of Oregon — do all their voting by mail. That’s fine, too, I guess. It boosts turnout, which is the best outcome of that process.
However, I remain an old-fashioned kind of guy. There just remains a certain semblance of ceremony attached to going to the polling place, waiting in line, chatting up your neighbors and then doing your civic duty.
I love the process.