Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Insight - Voting reflections

I’m a voter. 

I’ve been a voter since I registered at the age of 18 in Connecticut. I was so proud to take my daughter to the polls yesterday so she could register and become a contributing member of the voting public.
After covering elections for so many years for the papers I’ve worked for, I noticed that during the slow times one particular woman who was always there checking in voters and handing out the ballots always had a stack of books to read. 

So yesterday I went down the line of ballot clerks to find out what they were reading while at the polls. A rover, a floating clerk, had just finished reading Orphan Train, a story about children who were orphaned crossing the Atlantic. They were put on trains and deposited across the country, often those orphans were used for slave labor. She highly recommended this book. Another woman was reading 60 Ways to Lower Your Blood Sugar, because her husband is a diabetic. Another volunteer told me about The Poacher’s Son and Trespasser, both great books by Paul Doiron. 

Another woman was reading the third book in a series and my favorite poll clerk/reader brought a Debbie Macomber Blossom Street series book. She also told me that she had thousands of books on her Kindle, which she had also brought with her. That is the benefit of having a Kindle in my opinion -  thousands of books on hand at any time. A treasurer of genres and books at your fingertips. Don’t feel like a romance? How about a travel adventure book? 

I did look at the polls in Raymond, but no one seemed to have any books stashed under the table.
Readers have favorite places to read, not that I’m saying their favorite places to read are at voting polls, but think about all the time they can spend reading on a slow voting day. Some of them have full-time jobs, and this is there great opportunity to catch up on the latest Stephen King novel or The Fault in Our Stars

A few women were knitting and stitching project in between voters, just so you know they weren’t all reading.

I don’t know how many books they finished, but they did a great job making sure my daughter and I were able to vote, exercising our rights as American citizens.

-         Michelle Libby

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