Tuesday, May 02, 2006

I didn't vote

But it's not because of lack of trying. Apparently figuring out where to vote today was beyond my skills.

As I was driving around this evening from polling place to polling place, I was reminding myself of how important it was to vote. It is my CIVIC DUTY as a United States citizen to do my part in being informed and involved in my country's politics. Many races are decided by just a few numbers of votes. Even the primary elections are important. I must do my civic duty and cast my vote today! This would be pleasing to God. These were the thoughts going through my head as I tried to locate my polling place. Let me share my story.

I studied the "Where to Vote" section of my Sunday newspaper, but couldn't figure out my new voting precinct, as it was right on the edge of the map. But I had until Tuesday night at 6:00 to figure it out. How hard can it be? I asked myself. I had thought to perhaps get up at 6:00 a.m. and go right away and figure it out. But when my alarm went off I changed my mind. Plus, I rationalized, I should probably do a little computer research this afternoon to figure out who I need to vote for anyway. I don't want to go in unprepared. I'm done with lessons at 4:30 p.m.; I will have a whole hour and a half to get my voting down before I have to be at church for Worship Team practice at 6:00 (and the polls close). My original plan was to vote around 5:00 and even stop by Culver's for our school-sponsored eat-out night there (from 4:00-8:00 a percentage would go to our school). I had intended to grab the newspaper on the way out the door in the morning to see if there was any new information on where to vote, but I forgot, so I figured I could look it up online. Besides, my school/church was a polling place itself. Perhaps I would be fortunate to be able to vote right there at work!! I didn't have enough of a lunch break during the day to check it out, but I was still planning on my "flawless" 4:30 plan. So by 4:45 I had done a little research on the computer and felt prepared enough to cast my ballot. I headed down the hallway in the building to see if this was perhaps my new precinct in which to vote. Of course I couldn't be THAT fortunate. "No, you're in the wrong place. Let us look up on the computer where you need to vote." They found my name in the computer, and it had my old address still; it claimed I need to vote at some Heritage Methodist Church. Since it's my old address, I assume this is where they've changed the voting to in my old precinct. I have no clue where this is, but I headed to my office to Mapquest it before I headed off. No results found for Heritage Methodist Church in Lafayette. Okay, so I figure I'll just go home, grab the newspaper and see where my old precinct is supposed to be voting. Surely it's clearly marked. (By this time it's 5:00. I still have a whole hour until the polls close.) So I stop off at home and grab the paper. I had done enough research to find out that you have one time you're allowed to vote at your old precinct, and you just need to ask for a change of address form there to update to your new address. So I figure I should be safe just going to my old polling place which has changed to, according to the paper...Ivy Tech Community College. This wasn't the Methodist Church, but at least I knew where Ivy Tech was. So I headed over there to cast my ballot. I arrived and signed my name, but "No, you're not on the list. Let's look up on the computer where you need to vote." This time I pay closer attention to what the computer has registered me under. Fairfield 001. I don't understand, since my old address is still in the Fairfield 23 precinct. But my polling place comes up again as "Heritage United Methodist Church" on N. Co. Rd. 350 E. (Note, this time I memorize the address.) When I get back to the car I look at the newspaper again. I don't understand how I'm registered in the new precinct unless that really is my new precinct...but why haven't they updated my address? Anyway, I think I know where 350 is. (By this time, it is reaching 5:30.) So I drive on 350 S where I know a few churches are located. Christ United Methodist...no Heritage United Methodist. Then I realize I have probably been going completely in the wrong direction since this is 350 S, not 350 E. My church is located on 550E, so I turn around and head back that direction. By this time it is about 5:45. So I drive past my church, looking for a 350 E. The numbers are going up, not down, so apparently I am going the wrong direction...again. But heading back into town I have no idea where 350 would be. I take one more loop behind Cracker Barrel, but then I decide, by 5:55 p.m., that I will probably not make it to my polling place in time, so I just head to church for Worship Team practice. I think to myself, what if I had paid attention the first time around and looked up the address for Heritage UNITED Methodist Church with an address on 350 on Mapquest. So as soon as I get there I hop right on my work computer and Mapquest this...still no results found. Hey, if Mapquest doesn't know where it is; how am I supposed to find it? At least I'm glad that wouldn't have worked the first time. So that is my story on how I did NOT vote in the primary election today. (I did note in the election results that no races were decided by a single vote, thankfully.) But I still have no clue what my new precinct is or where Heritage United Methodist Church is.

5 comments:

TwoMuths said...

Beth, it's the trying that counts this time, I think! You went to great lengths, AND you posted about voting! Uncle Sam would be proud. Way to try!!

The Hill family said...

Totally know what you are going through......I dont know where ANYTHING is around here. I did the exact same thing and alas.....no vote....

kiwi said...

i'm sorry that it didn't work out... but it did make a good story! I've learned not to trust Mapquest either! Have a blessed day!

Seminarybeachbum said...

Man, could they make it any more frustrating to fulfill your civic duty? I agree, however, that it did make for an interesting story. Way to persevere.

By the way, the Heritage United Methodist Church that you were looking for wasn't the one that you get to by going west on IN-26 W toward Meijer Dr., merge onto I-65 N. Take the IN-25 exit (Exit 175- toward Lafeyette/Delphi), then turn right onto IN-25 N, another right onto Deems Dr., a left onto N 350 E, ending at Heritage United Methodist Church--roughly 6 minutes away from your home? I mean, that sounds too easy. :)

bethoven said...

Show-off.