I’m just one of the many proud people who voted yesterday. But trust me—they did not make it easy on us to do so.

I can’t speak for the rest of the country, but this new stupid “Voting Centers” situation in Los Angeles was a mess! People were still on line to vote at 11PM!!!  (Polls were supposed to close at 8PM.)

Karen Salkin displaying her "I Voted" sticker...four years ago!  (She wore that same shirt, and nail polish, to the polls yesterday! And she still looks the same!) Photo by Mr. X. (The photo at the top of this page is by Karen Salkin.)

Karen Salkin displaying her “I Voted” sticker…four years ago! (She wore that same shirt, and nail polish, to the polls yesterday! And she still looks the same!) Photo by Mr. X. (The photo at the top of this page is by Karen Salkin.)

For all other elections through the years, Mr. X and I would walk up the block, just eight houses away, and vote. We would chat with our neighbors there and along the way, and still be back home in twenty minutes! I loved doing that; it always felt special. I’m sure that many others had that same “community spirit” feeling. In the 2016 Presidential election, I was crying on the way home, from having just cast my vote for whom I had assumed, as we all did, would be our first female President.

So this time, I was very confused by the new “Voting Centers” system. I assumed that it was designed to make it easier for people to vote, so they could do it near their places of business or with certain friends or on the way out to their evening activities. But guess what? This was sooooooo much more difficult! Instead of walking or biking to your neighborhood polling places, now virtually everyone had to drive or take public transportation! And the lines were absolutely ridiculous, no matter what time you got there! And the absurdity of it all is that LA actually closed four thousand polling places for their dumb Voting Centers!

Yes, I do know that people could either vote by mail, (which takes away the satisfied feeling of having been a part of the democratic system in this country, ) or voted early at the Centers. But guess what? If you voted early for one of the three main candidates who dropped out a few days before actual Election Day, your vote was just wasted. I saw, and read about, people who were crazily asking how to change their vote, which, of course, could not be done.  I repeat, what a mess!

Country Registrar-Recorder/Country Clerk, Dean Logan, said there were “major issues” with this new voting situation of everyone being able to go to any location. And I was shocked that they didn’t even ask for proof of ID!!!  So anyone could go to different places, and use other peoples’ names, if they wanted to sneakily cast multiple votes for a candidate or issue. That’s so weird. I get asked for my ID at even crappy stores!

So here’s the tale of Mr. X and my Quest For Voting, which took us four hours! We went to five of the stupid new Voting Centers because the first four had two hour waits!!! It was insane. I had spent quite a bit of time perusing the twenty-three-page “Vote Center Locations” booklet (that so much paper had been wasted on) that arrived by mail. I figured that since I was leaving the house to vote, (I’ve been staying in a lot because I’m deathly afraid of the Coronavirus,) we should make a day of it, and do something fun in whatever neighborhood I chose, (based on where I wanted to eat after, of course! Have you met me?!)

I had initially chosen the Luxe hotel, which is kind-of near my house in Los Angeles because it’s a beautiful hotel. I’m always very comfortable there, and…they have a complimentary candy buffet on the way out! So of course I love that place. But I had checked-out the hotel’s lunch menu and wasn’t really in love with it. And I knew that Mr. X didn’t want to dress semi-nicely to eat there.

And, being completely honest, he and I had had an argument earlier in the day, about something completely not election related, which, shamefully, had taken up a couple of hours. So by the time we were leaving, at about 1:30, I instead chose to vote at the Hammond Museum in Westwood. My plan was that we cast our ballots, and then spend some time looking around that museum I had, surprisingly, never been to. Almost right across the street is my favorite sandwich shop, and a new yogurt place, and that food would happily wrap-up the sojourn for me.

So we parked in the museum, and went upstairs to the terrace where the voting was, and what greeted us was a line of about two hundred people! At least. That line was about two hours long, so we decided not to stay. But no biggie—there were so many more Voting Centers close enough.

Sidebar: This is really difficult for people like me who can’t stand in place for more than a few minutes. (My situation is due to my broken back.) And there was no place to sit at most of these places. So that was one of the stoppers of long lines for me, too, outside of not wanting to waste time.

Voting at UCLA, where it appears there were so many people that you could sit down for a bit!  But Mr. X thought the lines would be short there.  Yeah, right.

Voting at UCLA, where it appears there were so many people that you could sit down for a bit! But Mr. X thought the lines would be short there. Yeah, right.

So I knew there was a close-by elementary school at which to vote, so we headed back in the direction from which we had just come. And yes—that meant that I was giving-up my sandwiches and the frozen yogurt. But at that point, I just wanted to vote and get it over with, especially because we were still being cranky with each other.

I had originally not wanted to vote in an elementary school because I figured lots of flu germs would be floating around, but at this point I figured oh well. So we got to the school and that line was around the block. And I really do mean around. And in the dangerous sun and heat, to boot! So I said let’s just go to where I wanted to go in the first place—the Luxe. But by that time, the traffic going west on Sunset Boulevard was even worse than the lines at the Voting Centers! I was ready to cry at that point. I was starving and thirsty, and Mr. X and I were still fighting. So, even though several cars headed that way were turning around because of the horrible traffic, we continued on to the Luxe. I had a feeling Mr. X would be comfortable there, too; I’m very hooked-up there so I know it would all be okay.

So after Mr. X initially missing the tricky entrance to get onto the hotel’s premises, we finally did, and I told him to let me do the talking because I knew what I had to get done. There was an employee standing on the driveway to help, but before I could even start grilling him with my queries, he told us there was an hour and a half wait at that point. So we left. But to my great later regret, a friend of mine went there an hour and a half after we did, and told me they were serving tea sandwiches and Chinese chicken salad to everyone in line! And that they were in and out in forty-five minutes! Anyone who knows me knows that I’ve been sick over missing all that ever since. (It would have taken me those forty-five minutes just to decide what to eat first!)

Just look at that line in one venue in the Valley! Photo by Karen Salkin, (off the TV.)

Just look at that line in one venue in the Valley! Photo by Karen Salkin, (off the TV.)

But back to our voting journey. Mr. X and I knew there was a church nearby where we could vote, so we headed down this little road where I thought it was, and got stuck in freeway traffic. So we wasted more time going around and around, until finally realizing where the church was. (And yes, of course we were using GPS, but, for some reason, it was very limited at that time.) We figured a religious venue would bring us luck. So we finally found the place, and it had perhaps the longest line of all of them!

We are about to give up at that point and just go home, when I insisted we make one more stab at it. There was another elementary school kind-of on our way home, so we decided to give it a shot. And there was easy parking; we pulled right in front. There were no lines outside, and inside was just a very short one. We were probably the tenth and eleventh people on it. We even saw a neighborhood pal there, which somehow made it all feel a little better.

So that was going well, but then my newfangled machine rejected my ballot. So I had to go to another section, put it in a big pink envelope, and fill out all the information that they never even asked me for when I checked in! It was kind of a pain in the butt, but not that bad.

At this point it was about 4:30 in the afternoon and we still hadn’t eaten all day. And where this place was situated, there’s absolutely no food. So our only choices were to go back into Westwood and pick-up the sandwiches that I had planned to get hours earlier, (but then just coming up our block would be an extra hour,) or going down into the Valley, (which at that point, the traffic getting there would be awful,) or just pick-up a pizza on our block, which we do all the time, so that part of the day would be far from special. But, of course, that’s what we did because we just wanted to get home.

I was feeling kind-of creepy about the entire experience, but later on I realized that, as annoying as it was when we were living it, in retrospect it was sort-of fun to compare voting horror stories with my compatriots. So there was that. One woman I know said she was on line for…four hours!!! And the local news was showing so many horrible situations that my journey seemed not-as-awful by comparison.

Look a this crazy double-decker line at a library in Santa Monica!

Look a this crazy double-decker line at a library in Santa Monica!

The really good news is that so many people voted!  And this wasn’t even the election to try to get rid of Orange Hitler yet!  (Well, it’s the early stages of that plan—the groundwork is being done.) I was happy to hear a few people ask how they could change their party affiliation from Republican to Democrat, which actually made my heart sing.  I’ve been so sad feeling that the dummies people I know who voted for that buffoon have not been repentant.  I don’t even ask them anymore because I don’t want to know if they still support that ugly (in every way) moron.  So to witness some strangers seeing the light, with my own eyes, was a pleasure.

I just wish that we Americans had had a referendum on the ballot asking if we should allow Harry and the creepy Markle woman to move to America. I would hope we would give it a resounding “Nooo!” We, like Canada before us, do not want to pay for their very pricey security detail! (But this is a whole other story.)

One last note for the upcoming Presidential election: I hate it when people implore others to “Vote!” I implore you to do so only if you’re voting for the Democratic candidate, no matter who he or she may be. If you’re planning to vote for that evil, moronic, idiot who’s in the White House right now, please stay home in your cave with your toothless self, and your guns, and let people with an IQ over forty help this country get back on its feet. The end.


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