November 5, 2013

The youth vote

Don't forget to vote.

I remember one election, 20ish years ago, that I took Punkinhead with me. She was probably about 2 and I wanted to impress upon her the importance of voting. We walked to our polling site and I got my ballot. This was the olden days when we used a poker to jab out the "chads" which later became infamous in Florida. The "booth" was a rickety table with three collapsible "walls" around the voting booklet for privacy. I planted Punkinhead on one hip, slid the card into its slot and turned to the first page of the booklet.
After reading the names for the first race on the ticket, I handed Punkinhead the poker and helped her punch the hole. We proceeded through half the votes this way until an uptight old lady (why are election workers always uptight old ladies?) realized that I was allowing my 2-year-old to punch my ballot. Nevermind that I was directing her actions precisely to each individual hole, SHE was the one who was pushing the stylus through and that was unacceptable! "2-year-olds can't vote!" she said. I explained that I was voting and she was my helper so I could instill in her the fun and necessity of voting.
The old woman harumphed and told me that if I allowed the adorable Punkinhead to punch one more hole, the ballot would be considered void. I don't know if she could have done that or not, but it scared me enough to stop. I was more upset than Punkinhead was, and I have always wondered if they kept my ballot.

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