Thursday, August 16, 2018
For a week preceding election day at my library we hosted early voting. It was the first time this has ever happened here, and so, like most things new at my library, it caused a fair bit of confusion among the populace: where to go? what did they need? when can they do it? We met most of the repeat problems with a flurry of hastily put together signs. Like all signs these met with mixed results. For instance at the front service desk we hung full signs on the backs of our computers that said:
Voting today from 9 to 3
And many times a patron would read this and say "So, voting today from 9 to 3?"
And we would say "Yes, there was. But it is four now, so voting is over for the day."
And they would ask "So can I vote now?"
I'm just saying there's a limit to what one can make a sign for.
On actual election day early voting was, of course, over, and voting happened at people's regular polling places, of which we were not one. We were pretty sure this would cause some confusion, so we had big signs saying:
No Voting Here Today
An elderly wiseacre read one of our conspicuous signs this afternoon and asked us at the front desk, with a twinkle, "So can I vote here today?"
I got my big laugh of the day by answering "Sure, go ahead, but I don't think it will count for much."
And then, just to prove we were all wags hanging around the service desk, a nearby woman quipped "I'm not sure it does anyway."
"Don't give into despair!" I begged the woman.
No. I'm just kidding. I didn't beg the woman anything. We've all given in to despair, I accept that.
But let's all vote anyway.
They'll never expect it.