I knew when I headed to the library that I needed to be prepared to wait. Last week, Id talked to people standing in line to early vote and was in awe of their calmness. Were an instant gratification society and waiting to do something is what we do in the microwave era
I made it to the Beatties Ford Road Public Library at 12:45 p.m. The line was already spilling out onto the sidewalk, but they were taking people in eight at a time. I didnt think it was going to be that bad. Id already driven past three other spots looking for a short line. Didnt find one, so I figured it was best to stop already.
Surprisingly, there were no Republican party members out on Beatties Ford Road, but the Democrats were there suggesting to people they should vote for. I didnt want to carry a bunch of papers in my hand, so when the sweet lady who was politicking for her party came over to me, I told her; would you be mad if I told you Im not a Democrat?
For a minute she looked taken back, but she replied with, Well, it doesnt matter, Im just glad youre voting. So, you dont need this paper, huh?
And when she moved on to the next person in line, I started thinking, why arent all of the parties out here? Im sure there may have been a few GOP supporters in the line. For the record, Im not a Republican either. As the line and the wait grew, I expected people to get a little tense, but this was the most peaceful group of people Ive ever been around. There was no grumbling, everyone was willing to wait.
Even the CMPD officer stationed in the parking lot looked to be having a good time talking to voters and holding the door for people as they exited the library. Once you made it from outside, guess what happened next, more waiting
The election workers lined us against the wall and admonished us to keep quiet because we were in the library. OK. When you finally entered the room where the voting machines were, you sit down in front of an election worker and give your name and address. Then you have to read a white slip of paper that informs you a straight party vote doesnt mean youve voted for the president
North Carolina has taken some heat for the design of its ballot.
Once it is verified that you are an eligible voter, youre given a piece of paper and another line to stand in
There is certainly a lot of waiting in this early voting process, which I thought was supposed to cut down the time that you wait.
Finally, it was time to vote. And though the ballot is eight pages, it doesnt take that long to get through it if you studied a sample ballot beforehand.
So, how long did it take me to cast my vote? About 1 hour and 15 minutes -- just enough time to make it to Starbucks for an espresso.