Friday, October 16, 2020

Joining Long Line Of Early Voters In Wichita Falls

The third Friday morning of the 2020 version of October was consumed by digesting the Texas version of Early Voting. 

Til I moved to Texas it had been a long long time since I had experienced voting at a polling place in a voting booth.

If I remember right, by the 1990s my Washington voting was by the permanent mail-in ballot method. For many years now I believe the only way to vote in Washington has been via the mail-in ballot method, as in mailing the ballot, or dropping it off at one of the strategically placed ballot boxes which look as secure as Fort Knox.

But, Texas is an entire different world. It is possible to get an absentee ballot in Texas. And for this election, due to COVID, the mail-in ballot method is possible, though not as easy to do as is the case in Washington. And a few other more progressive modern states.

My previous Early Voting at my Wichita Falls location have been at the Sikes Senter (I did not spell that wrong, it is Sikes Senter, not Sikes Center). The most recent time voting at Sikes Senter was the 2018 mid-term election.

Back then, no line. Just walk up, show the required I.D., vote and go. Taking maybe ten minutes.

Today my first voting attempt was at that aforementioned Sike Senter. I installed the required mask, entered the mall, and soon saw a line ahead of me. That can't be the voting line, I thought to myself, the voting location is way to the left. 

But by the time I was able to see the length of the mall I could see the line covered just about that entire length.

 I walked to the start of the line, to the voting booths, walked back to the end, asking a person at the halfway mark how long they had been in line.

Two hours was the answer.

I decided to try another Early Voting location.

That is part of the Sikes Senter line you see above. There were people behind me, as well.

I then drove to the next closest Early Voting location. A furniture store on Fairway. Got there, saw a lot of cars in the parking lot. And then saw the line, snaking out of the building and around the block.

So, I then decided to make a day of it and drove to the next closest Early Voting location, that being the County Courthouse, which is in downtown Wichita Falls.

Got to that location, easily found a place to park, then found the line, quickly confirmed it was about a half hour to get into the building and another half hour from that point. 

Decided to go for it. The wait did not seem to take an hour. But, I was distracted by doing text messages on my phone.

Before I knew it I was going through the final door, showing my I.D., getting my vote code and then directed to a machine, where I quickly voted, soon exiting, where I took the selfie photo you see at the top.

As you can see my attire was all blue today, which likely provides a clue as to how I voted...

1 comment:

Steve A said...

I had to wait in line to vote as well. Just to make sure we had the postage right, I waited in line at the Ocean Shores Post Office and had them weigh the ballot. $1.10 to mail two ballots. Yesterday, the Tarrant County voter lookup finally confirmed we are now both entitled to put on "I Voted" stickers. Of course, my wait was under five minutes, so you still have my sympathy.