Early Voting Holds Two Surprises
Based on the line at my early voting site, the turnout for this election is going to be huge. Once I got inside, I did find two small surprises.
When I pulled up in the parking lot Friday afternoon at my polling location, the line wrapped out the door and halfway around the block, and I'll admit I thought twice about standing in it because I was on my way to the nail salon for a mani-pedi at the time and I didn't want to be late. I know, I'm a terrible American to even think that. But doing my civic duty did ultimately take priority over soaking my feet and getting my cuticles trimmed. I parked the car and hopped in line.
The whole process took about forty minutes, so it wasn't that long in the grand scheme of things. The line moved quickly, and once I was inside the building I had a ballot in my hand within five minutes.
In a pandemic year, I knew there would be changes to the voting process, and the two biggest ones were not expected. They were almost cute if that word can apply to an important civic process.
Surprise number 1. When I handed my driver's license to the poll worker sitting behind plexiglass, she scanned the back of it and, through her bifocals, started perusing the info that popped up on her laptop screen. Then she asked me to pull my facemask down so she could make sure the lower half of my face matched the one on my ID. A 2020 issue.
Surprise number 2. Because it's not safe right now to have thousands of fingertips on the same touchscreen ballot boxes, my polling location offered bowls of Q-tips that had been cut in half and the poll worker told me to "grab a stylus." It wasn't fancy, but pressing on my presidential candidate's name with a cotton swab worked just fine on the touchscreen ballot.
No matter how long it takes or what changes need adapting to, it's important to vote! Mani-pedis can wait. All of the voters at my location seemed happy to be there, and it felt good to join them.
Early voting runs through October 30th in Idaho, so there's plenty of time left to cast your ballot ahead of the November 3rd election. To find your polling location, check out the Vote 2020 section of our website, and don't forget to take your mask.
Ada County has four locations — in Boise, Meridian, Eagle, and at the Ada County Elections Office, along with the mobile voting unit.
This could be the highest voter turnout in years, and it's good to be part of the process.