Tuesday, November 6, 2012

How the Rural Vote


When it comes to voting, and attitudes connected to voting, I can only speak for myself. I really don't know if others see these topics like I do or not. With that said I would like to share with you how voting happens where I live and vote (Clark County, Madison township (rural), Ohio). I suspect it could be quite different where you live. It would be fun to compare.

the first Presbyterian Church (behind a house used for church offices)
Our poling station is in The First Presbyterian Church on main street. Why a church? I really don't know. The "powers that be" have decided this in years past. It used to be at the elementary school library, then the Catholic meeting hall for years, now its at the First Presbyterian Church.
The door with no sill
Rumor has it that the church is used because it is one of the few buildings in town that is fully handicapped accessible. Meaning that our doorway doesn't have that little aluminum sill that so many doors have. Apparently, that sill restricted people's access to voting. Never mind that you can vote by mail from the comfort of your own home. But that is another topic.
The Funeral Home
It could be as simple as the Church parking lot is the largest paved and lighted lot in town. Or it could be the central location on Main Street between the funeral home and the AmVets hall, both of which "borrow" the lot for their big events. No one cares. Some church members are probably involved in any of those events anyway.
the Amvets hall
We vote down stairs in a basement classroom, this is new this year. We have always voted upstairs in a side section of  the church sanctuary. I like the basement better. Santuaries are not really made for the contentious issues of voting.
stairs/chair lift to voting

Madison Twp rural to the left

We  show our picture ID's, or a utility bill, etc. at our poling station. I don't know what happens this year since there has been such a commotion about this topic nationally. Doesn't mean much here. The election workers at the desk likely know who you are anyway. It might be a retired teacher you had in school, a coach, a local businessman, or whoever. The precinct is not so big. I voted at 9:30 A.M and was number 102. My daughter voted at noon and was number 207. Seems like turn out was very heavy. She had to wait in line for 15 minutes.

To get to the voting area you have to go past the "Election Day Salad Bar" that the church sponsors as a fundraiser for the "Womens Association". The Womens Association uses the funds for various projects around the church or community as seems reasonable to the ladies. The salad bar is one of the big reasons I don't see any reason to vote early. Why would I want to miss such a fine meal and social event? (A note to the novice: the food goes fast so get there before noon.)

big sign points to Salad bar little sign to polling station

not much store bought here
There was some excitement today, They ran out of pie! A first in the history of the salad bar. Some people shared, others went without since they had made two. One for the salad bar and one for the family. No one starved.

So that is how it is done where I live. There won't be any disturbances or heated discussions or polling place campaigning. That stuff would be rejected by everyone as pretty uncivil. You come. You vote. You eat with your neighbor. And you go home.

some get there first "I voted today" sticker

How is it done where you live? 


1 comment:

  1. Our small town in Minnesota was hopping too. We vote at our city hall which is also our fire station and "civic center" ie meeting room. I didn't see what number I was, because I was too busy chatting with the election judges. I know that my name is third from last in the registration book. The entire parking lot was full and people were waiting on the road to drive in. I brought two of my kids along (one in the stroller). They loved getting the "I Voted" stickers. Voting in a small town (just like you) is exciting and very community centered.