Today I did my civic duty and voted for Barack Obama for President of the United States of America. It was a glorious feeling to cast my ballot, and yet there was something a bit odd about voting early. I have voted in every election since 2000 and this is the first time I cast an early ballot.
I have worked at polling places on election day and have stood in line to vote. I've seen crazy people get arrested and local heroes deliver poll workers breakfast, lunch and dinner. Today was the first time I went to the polls without seeing any of these things.
I didn't even plan on voting today. I just happened to be at the local circuit court handling some business and came upon a polling place! While I waited for the county workers to process my paperwork I voted. There were no optional paper ballots, which is what I am accustomed to. Apparently early voting in Illinois means you must use the touch screen device.
After voting I felt good to know that I did my part to get my candidate elected today. It also frees me up to go to Indiana or Ohio to help with GOTV efforts in these swing states on election day. It doesn't matter whether you vote early or on election day, the important thing is to vote.
This was the first time I voted early. It was much easier to do it today than it has been on election days past. However, the usual sights, sounds and smells of election day were mysteriously absent. If you like to talk with your neighbors while you stand in line waiting to vote, then maybe early voting in Illinois isn't for you. If you want to get it over with quick and painless, I suggest you go check out your local early voting location.