March 11, 2014 – Today is Election Day in our town! I was curious to see what goes on at a voting station, but Mom told me it’s for humans only, and even if I were to tag along, I would not be allowed into her voting booth. “Voting is private,” she stated. Notice that she said her voting booth and nothing about my own. I will admit that I have no idea what it is the humans are taking a vote over, but I enjoy red, white and blue curtains as much as the next chicken, and I was long overdue for an extraordinary adventure.
Thankfully, the van was unlocked. I asked Sawyer if she wanted to come with me and she replied, “Sure… what the heck.” I think I’m finally wearing her down.
Mom got in and started the car. She looked in the rear view mirror and saw the two of us buckled into the backseat. She opened her mouth to say something, and then shook her head and laughed. I took that to mean we were in.
I read in the paper that voting would take place at the middle school, and wasn’t at all surprised when we made it there in less than three minutes. The entrance of the building was lined with all sorts of interesting people holding signs attached to wooded posts in one hand, and steaming cups of coffee in the other. The placards said things like, “VOTE FOR JOE!” and “SAY YES TO 2!” Those with a free hand used it to wave to passersby and welcome folks stopping long enough to say hello. It looked so exciting. I couldn’t wait to get closer! Unfortunately, Mom instructed the two of us to stay in the car.
Once Mom was inside the polling station, I turned to Sawyer and said, “Is it me, or did Mom tell us – it isn’t very far?” Sawyer was about to repeat Mom’s exact words, but then, realizing resistance is futile, merely waved her wing at me and said, “Let’s go”.
We strutted up the walkway leading to the door through which Mom entered. We waved to the sign people and then followed a small group of humans into the school. The voting booths were set up in the gymnasium. They looked grand all in a row; the striped curtains not long enough to hide the legs of the voters inside. I did a quick scan before spotting Mom’s shoes in one at the far end of the room. There was an admittance table, above which were posted the letters of the alphabet. I figured they were sorting voters by name, so I got into the “H” line and Sawyer, the one marked with an “S”. When it was my turn at the table, I looked up and saw Mrs. Turner. She was a volunteer, ticking off names in a big book.
“Hi, Mrs. Turner!” I exclaimed, thrilled to see our neighbor.
“Happy! What a wonderful surprise! What are you doing here?”
“I came to vote!” I announced proudly.
“Oh, dear!” Mrs. Turner replied. “I’m afraid that voting today is for humans only. I can’t let you in unless your name is in this book and you have identification on you. I would need to see a driver’s license.”
Nuts! – Another reason to get myself to the Registry of Motor Vehicles. I thanked Mrs. Turner for her time and told her that I’d stop by the farm soon to visit our friends. I walked over to the wall and sat down on the floor to wait for Sawyer, knowing that she was hearing the same message in her line. Several minutes went by without any sign of her. When she didn’t show up, I started a quick search. I spotted her slipping a paper ballot into a counting machine.
“Well, that was fun!” she stated as we headed toward the exit.
“You voted?!!” I asked in disbelief. “How on earth, did you get by the ladies with the book?!”
“What do you mean?” she questioned, pushing open the door and stepping outside. “I just walked under the table. Then I pulled a ballot from the stack and headed for a booth. I had to fly up to the shelf in order to fill it out. You should have seen how far off the ground it was! By the way, I voted to increase the number of trees planted around town, and I wrote in your name for Library Trustee… whatever that is.”
I was still processing everything Sawyer had told me, when Mom got back in the car.
“See girls… that didn’t take long. Did you miss me?”
I wanted to say, “No… I missed my chance at becoming a voter in this wonderful town we call home!” But I didn’t. I clucked a few times until Mom smiled. Before I could offer anything else, we were home.
Once Sawyer and I settled into our henhouse, I made her tell and retell every second of her voting experience until I could picture myself in her place.
“I am so getting a driver’s license,” I blurted.
“I’m getting a dog,” Sawyer replied. “Do you know they have to be licensed by April 1st? If you get elected as a Library Trustee, you should change that.”
I did a search online and found out that our next election day is in November. I will not only be ready… I will drive myself there!