Voting in the Time of COVID

On a muddy, stormy, and gray day I drove to the county election commission to cast my early ballot. The paved parking lots were fully occupied with the unparked voters patrolling the isles, shark mobile and ready to pounce on any vacancy. Uninterested in retracing indefinitely ending loops, I made for the overflow lot.

Hurricane Zeta rained on Chattanooga heavily for days. A mountainous area, the waters run down to the Tennessee River one way or another. In certain areas, say where the county election commission building rests, the man-made flat terrain makes the man-made overflow lot a mud pit.

Undeterred and with a voting zest I pushed my mid-aughts Japanese automobile over the curb for the overflow lot and into a spot sporting at least some actual grass. My wise choice in footwear, a pair of water-proof hiking boots, made short work of transiting the mud pit overflow parking lot. Excelsior! How I would eventually extricate said vehicle from the mud pit overflow parking lot was, at best, murky. First, vote!

The line I joined snaked around the paved parking lot. Behind me another nine voting soles joined the queue. That was the longest I saw the line that day because the polling place found its stride.

Yet the dude behind me didn’t wear a mask. Everyone in eyeshot, even the stereotypical anti-COVID voters, wore a mask. He kept his distance from me. I assumed he forgot to put his mask on, but after a spell it was clear he wanted to “make a statement”. Before I beseeched him to mend his ways he slapped his mask on. Confrontation avoided!

There’s not much more to tell about my voting journey: the line moved well; the parking lots, both paved and muddy, emptied; the county called in tow trucks to release cars from the mud lot; the voter line shortened; and I voted.

Then I, like so many before me, tried to remove my car from the overflow lot.

One key aspect to removing a vehicle from such a situation is that, once you get some momentum, one should not stop it for any reason. The cars towed out of the lot and the shortness of the voter line meant I had a fairly clear field of view behind me. One woman stood text to a vehicle off to my left, but otherwise I was free to move.

As I threw my car into reverse and carefully depressed the accelerator, the woman from stage left was considerably closer than she was moments before — not so close there was danger but close enough I had to account for her unexpected presence and would probably coat her with mud. I did all that and drove my car from the overflow lot.

All this to say, GO VOTEI Vote Biden/Harris!

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About Paul

I’m a Detroit expat recently returned from Tokyo living in Chattanooga. I’m a consulting security professional and father of two. I promise that my views and politics are mine; not yours or my employer’s or anyone’s. I follow no party or affiliation or anything. My things are released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license unless otherwise stated.

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