Is The Election Over Yet?

>> Thursday, November 5, 2009

I know that election day was two days ago, but I've been afraid to peek my head out from behind the curtains too much in case there were still lingering emboldened (or embittered) campaign workers lurking just beyond my threshold.

I haven't answered the phone in weeks, either. I'm still apprehensive that this-or-that potential Senator/Governor/Delegate's spouse/brother/ sister/daughter/pet dog will be calling me to tell me to go out and vote for his or her spouse, brother, sister, parent, or cat housekeeper. I mean ... wow. Just wow. That election was something. I think I really hate living in a hotly contested state. In the days leading up to it, I was getting between 3 and 5 phonecalls an afternoon. Most of them were recorded, but one I think was live. It was really, really hard to tell. Actually, I think 2 were live, but I hung up on the first one. The second one gave himself away a bit by stammering just a touch in the beginning. Then his monotone came on really strong. Since I suspected he might be a real person and not an audio recording, I listened, quietly. When he got to the end of his script, I wasn't sure if I was supposed to applaud, or state my intentions, thank him (not likely) or just say goodbye. So, there was this awkward silence that he finally broke by saying, "Um, okay. Bye."

As I approached the polls on election morning, there were swarming election workers buzzing around ready to dive at me with draft ballots (which aren't allowed in the polling booth, by the way). My response? "I'm saturated. Go away." The guy I said that to looked at me very strangely. I'm not sure he knew what "saturated" meant. As I kept walking, some super perfect mom-type buzzed over, with her hand outstretched and more colored paper for me. Again, I shook my head. "Too much." She nodded sympathetically for a moment, but as I kept walking, she shouted after me, "Please vote for ____________ for School Board. She's the only candidate endORSED BY PARENTS!!!" (She had to raise her voice against my retreating back.)

Okay, well, maybe that last part was something I needed to know. That school board stuff. Woops. Believe me, I was not going to turn around and descend into that melee again.

On the way out I managed to dodge the exit poller, I think in large part because I had Toddler and DH with me, and we just look really intimidating, I think ... or like the Marx Brothers maybe -- to0 hard to take seriously enough to bother polling. I'm not sure.

I made sure I wore my "I voted" sticker, just in case I got accosted on the streets of our town and kidnapped and sent to the polls. As it was, I felt beady eyes piercing me as I drove about my errands. The local church had a big sign ordering us all to go and vote, as did various banners throughout town. It was all a bit much, and I was relieved to get home.

Once again, however, I managed to underestimate the fanatacism of our local campaign staffers. I got home at about noon, and I received no less than four phonecalls before 3 pm instructing me to get out and vote today. If I hadn't hung up, I think one of them was probably going to offer to come and escort me. Aaaahhh, no. No. And no again.

Have I mentioned that I detest living in a hotly contested state around election time?

Now, two days later, I am wondering where all the campaign workers have gone. Did their families welcome them back with open arms, or are they just lurking out there on the streets looking for something to do? Will I see them with sandwich boards on their shoulders and signs that say, "Will campaign for food?" I mean, with all that effort last week and the week before, and the month before, and the six months before that, can you really turn it off that quickly? I fear not. I really do.

You tell me ... is it safe to go out yet?


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