I forgot to add something to the list of things about my Grandma. Something significant. She ran the polling site in Warwick, OK, for many, many years. I can remember when I was little her having those big metal polling booths with the red, white and blue striped canvas curtains hanging from them set up in her back porch. I have no idea why, perhaps to clean them or something. But playing in them and pretending to vote is a fond memory. When my mom would go vote in Chandler, I remember my sister and I cramming into that kind of booth with her with the curtain shut. I loved those booths and the sacred space they offered to consider the major decisions we often consider in those spaces.
Today, nestled up to a pop-up, cardboard voting station I had to tune out a lot of noise to get the job done. The master of ceremonies at my precinct was obsessively rearranging the cardboard booths to create the perfect flow for voters. One of her assistants only talked to people at shout-levels. Another assistant was floating from voter to voter helping those who couldn’t read or couldn’t comprehend, saying, “It’s ok…you don’t have to vote for all those items if you don’t want to.” People milled in and out. The whole place smelled like a thrift store (laundered clothes, dust and people). And there was a dog wandering in and out of the building….apparently he likes to hang out on voting days.
It didn’t feel very sacred. Focus was in short supply, but I did what I came to do. And I brought Grandma. She would have loved to have participated in today all the way down to re-electing our president.