Voting early was a new experience for me. I always wait until election day so I can experience the excitement of the false hope promised by our secular political saviors.
I voted yesterday because I’m going to be in San Diego taking a deposition on Monday and will not return until late Tuesday afternoon.
The more I thought about voting early though the more I liked the idea. No lines. Get it done. Relax on election day and watch the drama unfold.
Unfortunately, it did not go as planned.
When I arrived the line was a serpentine mass of humanity stretching to the door. “How long is the wait,” I asked. “50 minutes,” said the volunteer at the door. I debated my options, but decided to stay. I can go through my emails, coordinate with my office and get some work done while I waited, I thought.
Then I saw the sign: “Turn all cell phones off.” There was no explanation. I wondered if the person who put up the sign was trying to disenfranchise me. Nevertheless, I decided to comply, thinking this was the proper Christian response to functional authority.
After 10 minutes, watching every third person in line checking their email and text messages, I began to reevaluate my position. I surreptitiously texted my associate requesting a legal opinion on whether the cell phone prohibition was a malum prohibitum or malum in se.
While I was awaiting an answer the volunteer yelled, “Turn all cell phones off unless you want to be in violation of the law.”
Now I definitely felt disenfranchised.
I turned my iPhone off, comforted only by the fact that all the other scofflaws were doing the same thing.
Then the popping started.
For some people it is fingernails on a chalkboard. For me it is people popping their bubble gum. And the woman behind was popping like a cheap firecracker.
I tried to convince myself it was irrational to let something so trivial irritate me. I tried to ignore it. I tried to think of something else. But nothing worked, and the popping continued.
Then she began coughing.
This was not the allergic chirp or the scratchy smoker’s hack but the deep, phlegmy I’ve-had-a-bronchitis-and-I-want-you-to-know-it cough. And she was standing so close to me I could only imagine each cough projecting an army of germs onto the back of my neck where they would try to invade my body and do the things that germs do.
Somehow I survived and finally arrived at the voting booth, but when I got to the voting booth I couldn’t find my congressman on the ballot.
Instead, I recognized the name of a congressman from another district. I thought there must have been a mistake. I was looking forward to voting for my congressman. I had met him. I liked him. He had done a good job, and now I couldn’t vote for him.
When I got back to the office we checked the internet and found I had been the victim of some serious gerrymandering. I had a new congressman and didn’t know it. My neighborhood had been annexed by a different congressional district that now looked like a contorted image from a Rorschach test.
Now I was sure I had been disenfranchised.
You are probably asking what this blog post has to do with the kingdom of God. The answer is, “Probably nothing.”
There is nothing in the Bible about voting, much less early voting. I didn’t suffer for Jesus. It wasn’t like the woman behind me was popping and coughing on me because I was a Christian. Nor do I think my vote is going to help turn our nation toward Jesus.
But who knows, maybe it will help you from being disenfranchised. GS