20 Oct

The morning was chillier than I expected. As I took the first steps on my journey I considered turning around to get a hat and mitts. It was sunny, despite the nip in the air, so I decided to keep walking.

As I neared the end of the street, I saw my neighbor walking her dog. I pulled my ballot from my pocket and waved it at her.

“On my way to drop this off!” I called from across the street.

Bear, her dog, jumped for joy. I crossed the street to share in his delight at the day. When Lucy was with me, we always said hello from a distance. My heart ached with missing her, but it was refreshing to finally get to greet him. His owner and I chatted for a bit before I recommenced my journey.

For as long as I can remember, I have dropped my ballot off at the public library. Although libraries are only open for pickups, they are still collecting ballots.

But dropping in the book return wasn’t going to have the same feel as sliding my envelope into the ballot box that used to sit in the library. It seemed to lack the gravitas that came with having a special place for ballots, so I looked into my options.

I knew there was an official drop box a the Macdonalds across the street from the library, but that too seemed to lack the gravity that this election holds.

Continuing my research, I discovered that the Multnomah County Elections Office was a mere 1.4 miles from my house, one-tenth of a mile closer than the library. My plan began to form.

Autumn is my favorite season, and a cool, sunny morning is an invitation to celebrate, so, ballot in hand, I set off before school, to walk to drop my ballot off at the Multnomah County Elections Office. The crisp air helped keep my pace brisk and before I knew it, I had arrived. Apparently, I wasn’t the only person who wanted to get their ballot n as soon as possible. A masked woman arrived with her ballot as I turned. A camera crew stood in front of the building, recording a different woman in a red mask, as she dropped her ballot. Cars pulled up and people leaned out to drop their ballots in the curbside box. I felt inspired. I felt hope, too.

On the walk home I was buoyed as much by those feelings as by the beauty of the day.

10 Responses to “#Vote2020”

  1. glenda funk October 20, 2020 at 7:15 am #

    There’s so much to love about this post: the greeting of neighbors, the fall weather, meeting other voters, but mostly the act of voting and making your voice heard. Simply wonderful.

    This is the first year I voted absentee rather than going to the polls. We dropped our ballots off last week. Now we wait.

    • Adrienne October 20, 2020 at 7:17 am #

      Thanks. I was just so happy that day I had to write it down.

      • glenda funk October 20, 2020 at 7:23 am #

        Your memory embodies what a slice of life is in its purest form.

  2. Stacey Shubitz October 20, 2020 at 7:39 am #

    How lucky y’all are to have libraries as drop off sites for ballots. We have ONE place to drop our ballots in our entire county. (Thankfully, it’s only 15 minutes from my house.) It’s a shame we don’t have more of them around our county, which is vast and has lots of farmland.

    • Adrienne October 20, 2020 at 7:50 am #

      Oregon’s been voting by mail for 20 years. I sometimes forget how fortunate we are. A few years ago they changed the procedure and now the envelope comes with a postage paid envelope to ensure that no one can’t vote for want of a stamp.

  3. arjeha October 20, 2020 at 8:39 am #

    Although we voted by mail in the primaries, we are waiting to do in person voting on November 3. Because we live in a small community there shouldn’t be a problem with lines or anything else. Plus, our voting place is just up the street from our house.

    • Adrienne October 20, 2020 at 8:40 am #

      Oregon has had vote by mail for 20 years. We don’t even have in-person voting anymore.

  4. Diane Cherry October 20, 2020 at 9:39 am #

    😊. Sean and I walked to our library Sunday afternoon to drop off our ballets too. Met our neighbors on the way, they were going home after having dropped theirs off. A couple of years ago Clackamas country installed a very sturdy, clearly marked official ballot box on the curb in front of the library. It was nice, because even pre-Covid we could drop our ballots off even if the library was closed. 😊

    Sent from Diane’s iPhone


  5. jumpofffindwings October 20, 2020 at 11:58 am #

    I love this because you communicate hope, and an excitement about possibility. T

  6. jumpofffindwings October 20, 2020 at 12:00 pm #

    Sorry I sent too soon
    Boxes are a wonderful thing that I collect. I seldom fill them though. I just love the potential they hold. In this case, let’s fill them up. That’s all the hope I need! Great post, Adrienne.

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