What About This?

By Wayne William Cipriano

I am writing this a few days before the Presidential election. I considered talking about something that should be important to all of us no matter what our political proclivities. 

I thought I was going to talk about the disgusting and deeply un-American practice of voter-suppression, but the entire concept, and lately the actual execution of voter suppression is so repugnant to me as an American citizen that I am going to skip talking about it. I would no doubt say things about those who engage in it that I would regret two weeks from now. 

What I am going to talk about is voters voting. And that is never going to come back to bite me in the…future.

Didn’t we see a lot of voters voting in advance over the last couple of weeks? And didn’t that make all of us proud to bustin’? It sure did me.

We saw long, long lines of patriots quietly waiting their turn to exercise their franchise. They waited hours, some multi-hours. I heard one group waited six hours. Six hours!

I didn’t see a lot of lawn chairs, water bottles or food coolers, just hundreds of people patiently waiting- thousands of people standing six feet apart in so many lines. Just waiting to cast that vote.

I saw parents watching their children playing alongside those lines, perhaps to remember someday that voting can have a fun aspect to it. I saw voters standing in the hot sun, most without any shade at all, no books, no magazines, no radios, just waiting to do their civic duty.

And what do you do if you drank a lot of water that morning and then were standing in a five-hour line?

What about that pregnant lady who went into labor but refused to go anywhere until her votes were cast? Imagine the pressure to vote her baby will grow into as the story of that lady’s priorities is endlessly retold to the child?

Or what about the 93-year-old woman, pushing a walker, who waited four hours and would not step ahead of anyone else to vote more quickly, even after being asked many times to move up in line?

Or that long, long line of people standing in the rain, less than half of them sporting umbrellas, and when the rain stopped the sauna-like humidity began. And still they stayed and voted.

And what about the lack of disturbances in those long, boring, hot, frustrating, slowly moving lines? I suppose there were some hassles, there always seems to be some knucklehead around to cause trouble, but I didn’t hear of any.

I do have to memorialize one thing about this election that I want to be sure to remember: One Ballot drop box in a Texas county that has five or six million (MILLION) residents. One box, five or six million residents! One! Now that’s what I call voter suppression, deluxe. And they still keep coming to vote.

Aren’t we Douglas County residents lucky we don’t have to endure any of that…stuff?? Just get out of the car, step up to the line, and wait, what, ten minutes, fifteen maybe? Then drive home or go back to work and wait for the election returns on television.

Rosalie says we are eating popcorn and waiting for the results, no matter how long it may take. How long can you live on just popcorn? Days? Weeks?

What are you going to do after you vote?