Today was the primary elections here, so after lunch I loaded up the three amigos in the mom van, and we all went to the polls. We vote in a small building near A’s school. It’s an old Masonic lodge, so the decor is kind of interesting, and all of the poll workers are friendly senior citizens. When I last voted there, baby D was only a month old and was the only kid with me. The ladies there ooohed and aaahed over him, and all wanted to see him. If he hadn’t been strapped into his car seat carrier, they probably would have asked to hold him, too (which was why he was in the carrier – they’re nice and all, but no one plays pass the baby with my preemie).
So fortunately the poll workers are good natured and love kids, because A and S were in rare form today. S crawled under tables and played on some Masonic benches while I filled out my form. A danced around to make her skirt swirl. S asked lots of loud questions about the touch-screen voting machine and wanted to press the screen and help me. The poll workers told them to come up and get voter stickers for themselves. Each tried to pocket a half-dozen stickers, and I sent them back to return all but one each, to the great amusement of everyone else there. And baby D? He started fussing loudly just as I started voting, so I scooped him out of his carrier and bounced him on my hip while I completed my civic duty. No sticker for him.
I was telling A earlier today that they would all be going with me to vote, and I asked if she remembered voting with me before. She remembers the building, the ladies, the proximity to her school, and the nearby playground. The fact that she and her brother went with me when I was casting a vote for Barack Obama and participating in a historic event? Not so impressive in her world, although maybe she’ll appreciate it some day. She does know he’s the president, and she and S readily recognize him on television (even his voice on radio). But she’s blissfully ignorant about why his election was so significant, and generally oblivious to matters of race and ethnicity. I know the obliviousness won’t last, but right now I really love that about her. She just likes people, and differences are interesting and compelling to her, but the biases those differences inspire in others would never occur to her.
The sad part about today’s trip to the polls is my general dissatisfaction with most of the candidates. For so many of the races, I didn’t want to vote for any of them. Georgia is a state where you can pick which party’s ballot you want when you show up at the polls – no prior preference registration required – so I voted in the Republican primary. Kind of like that kid who enters ridiculous answers to throw off survey results.