Tuesday, November 04, 2008

a special voting booth for people like me

I was so glad that I managed to wake up early to to vote. Although there is a polling place across the street from my loft, I had to walk to the polling place two blocks away, down the street from our art supply store, Raw Materials. One look at the long line across the street from my loft and I picked up my pace - I'd probably be in for just as long a wait.

Hayward Hotel polling place line

I walked up Main Street and took my place in line. Not quite around the block, but almost. One of the poll workers kept coming out and checking the line. He spotted a few elderly voters and a man using a cane. He walked up to them and told them there was a special booth for handicapped voters, and would they like to jump ahead in line to vote? He walked them inside the building and would periodically come out to check the line for more disabled voters. Cool. I had tons of nervous energy, but I settled in and fell into conversation with those in line around me and of course the conversation alternated between the cool places to hang out downtown, downtown viewing/victory parties, and the election itself.

LACan polling place line

downtowners line up to vote

I was almost inside the building when the poll worker approached me.

"We have a booth inside that's a little lower, a little shorter than the others. Would you like to come inside and vote using the short booth?"

The people in line around me, the ones I had just met and the neighbors that I recognized from walking Wonton - all laughed uproariously. I imagined that it was like a child's table, low to the ground and covered in Hello Kitty stickers, with crayons to mark my ballot.

"Are you kidding me?"

The poll worker was apologetic, "I don't mean to offend you, I just thought--"

I wasn't offended, I though it hilarious that I was singled out in that long line, not for being a disabled voter, but for being a short voter. I declined, determined to wait like all the other, taller voters around me. The poll worker went outside, looking for disabled, elderly, and short voters.

Once inside the building there were places to sit and the poll worker instructed us where to sit so that we wouldn't get out of order. Then he informed me, "You know, you can't change your mind anymore. There's someone else in there using the short voting booth."

I laughed, "That's okay, I'll wait. But can I take a picture of the short booth?"

short voting booth

Seen in line to vote: Hal Bastian from the DCBID, Kitty, Matthew S., Abby and her owners, Mahogany, Olivia, and former loftmates Kedric, Tim and Bethany.


shainLA said...

that's brilliant. only you celia, only you...

MeekoRouse said...

I saw Hal when he came out, warning us about the snaking halls. We took about 1hr 20min so not bad at all. Gronk and some other folks, friends & neighbors were in the line. It was cool seeing everyone participating in their right to vote.

I'm looking forward to watching the returns tonight!

Love and Hate LA said...

great post Celia
just tell them "chiquita pero picosa"- little but hot/spicy.
btw- thaanks for the support on NO on prop. 8 sunday-greatly appreciated.

Anonymous said...

WHAT THE HELL. I'd be pissed! Or I would have said yes, and walked in there on my knees...

celia said...

now why the hell didn't i think of that? that's it jenn, you have to be my sidekick and be with me all the time so that when shit like that happens, you can tell me what to do!