I have officially voted in my 8th general election.  My first election to vote was in 1984.

I am always excited to get my I VOTED sticker.  There is something powerful in that little badge of admission that reminds me of my responsibility as a citizen of the United States of America.  My little badge does not discriminate by defining me into a political party. It does, however, broadcast I participate in the life of my country.

I pulled into the parking garage at the Montgomery County Building on West Third at 12:55pm.  I was a bit daunted by the long line that wound around the main floor hall.  In fact, I compared it to lines at Kings Island – long, winding, and filled with a wild assortment of individuals and personalities.  Despite the line’s length, I only stood in it for less than 10 minutes.

Next to me in line, and throughout the process was a really neat couple, Don & Jane Russell, from Miami Township.  They are friends with several families I know and love, The DeVores and The Kopecs!  In fact, they attended my production of The Sound of Music in 1999!

From the first staging area of seating, we were moved downstairs in a group of approximately 150.  In the first basement, I received #371.  After a ten minute wait in the next area of seating, we were moved downstairs to the auditorium where we filled out our ballot envelope and form.

After a short wait, we were moved into a corral of folks to enter our information into the computer.  I was assisted by a lady who happened to be the manager, and she was a delight.  In fact, all of the board of election personnel were absolutely kind, and very helpful.  Their sense of humor added to the enjoyment of the process.

Within a minute, my ballot was ready and I was aimed to a series of rooms where folks were voting.  I finally found a place way in the back, and settled down at the table to fill in my ballot.

I proudly voted for neighbor, Ashley Webb, first.  Ashley is running for Montgomery County Commissioner.

I had never voted with pen and paper – always the little punch cards, or electronic voting machines.  This felt incredible to actually fill in my own ballot.

When I had completed my ballot, I walked it to the reception area to have it sealed.  It was handed back to me so I could place it in the ballot box.

That was so exciting!

As I returned to the one lower level, I saw a prospective voter holding a card with #974!  Upstairs, the lines were ever longer, and I followed the line clear out to the parking garage!  Incredible!  I suspect there were at least 1500 waiting in line on two of the three floors.

All in all, this was a positive experience, and one for which I am proud to have participated.  I got to meet some really nice folks (the Russells), and experience the voting process in a completely different manner. It felt good to see tons of people taking the time to vote. Simply impressive!