Last night I dropped by the local elementary school to vote on my way home from work. I brought my pannier in because a)I figured I would need my wallet. It turns out I didn't, apparently they trust anybody who bikes to the poll. Poll fraudsters take note. And b) I didn't want to leave it outside to get stolen because my wallet was in there. Since this took up one free hand, I decided to leave my helmet on so I still had the other hand to open doors and whatnot. Plus, I was sure I had a less than attractive case of helmet-hair.
The place was deserted, so the folks working the poll were desperate for entertainment. Fortunately, I was there to provide it. I got the feeling that they didn't get a lot of bikers showing up to vote. The conversation went something like:
Older gentleman: Wow, I didn't realize it was summer!
Me: It's not!
First Woman: So you biked here?
Me: [thinking, Well duh!] Yes, I stopped on my way home from work.
Second Woman: How far did you come?
Me: About 13 miles.
First Woman: [horrified] Each way??
I then got my ballot and went to vote. Once this was complete, I had a nice conversation with another woman who was sitting near the voting machine about how mild the winters have been here for the last few years. I waved goodbye and went back out to my bike.
While I was unlocking and getting ready to go, a younger couple came out of the school. They said to me, "Did you only get to vote for school board members?" I told them that I had. They thought there should be more. They had even asked the Older Gentleman if perhaps they didn't get part of the ballot. "I thought this was supposed to be a big deal." the woman said to me. I asked if maybe they were thinking about the Minneapolis and St. Paul elections, where they were electing Mayors and city council people and other 'big deals.' Ah, the light of recognition shone in both their faces. "Yes, that's probably what we were thinking about." said the man. They wandered off, still slightly puzzled but pleased that the mystery was solved.
Welcome to voting in the 'burbs.