A quick stop at the post office, detained to answer a few questions about my bike, and then it's off to the town hall to vote.
Back in the day when North Stonington was a Penal Colony, the building was the warden's house and office. When South Stonington went the way of Atlantis and North Stonington was upgraded to a real town, the Warden became the first mayor, his home the town hall, and his breast pocket was the records office.
Things were simpler then.
They voted with rocks, rocks being the lead export of North Stonington we certainly had enough of them. The system is simple. Go in the booth, select your office and drop a colored rock for the party of your choice. Red for republican, blue for democrat, Green for labor party, Brown for Green Party and white for Right to Life. For a write in, you get a piece of chalk and write it on a black rock and toss that in.
That worked for us then, it worked for us today.
They are polished these days, so they shine like pool balls and roll nicely into the slot where members of the Mystery Elders counts them, tabulates them and inform the counsel of the winners. Not a very high tech operation, but saves on electricity.
In the darkness of the booth, it's just you and your thoughts, unless you do something dumb like drop two balls in the same slot and a Mystery Elder joins you in the booth to assist you in making your vote. You don't mess with the Mystery Elders. They can kick you out and deny your vote if they deem you too much of a goof ball, so it's best to play it straight.
But in the booth, sans screwing up, and alone, you have all the time to study the names and reflect on who they are. I read the material they mail to my house, so I know for the most part who I'm looking for before going in. Read is defined as skim in this paragraph.
It is a local election and everyone down plays it as, Eh, Who Cares? But it is important. Would the mighty whale be in deep, deep water if the plankton were to die off? You bet. It is important that we take charge of our own turf, our own town. If we can't decide who our dog catcher should be, then how can we decide something important, like health care and borders.
Know who these people are for goodness sake!
Back outside, fresh from doing my public duty, I am once again quizzed on my bike, this time by a Conservation Officer. While we're chatting a man walks up with a cookie. He points to my shirt. I had not put any thought into getting dressed, I rarely do, and it reads: "The big questions. Who am I? Why are we here? What is my Fate? Where are the cookies?"
I think my brother gave me the shirt.
Anyway, he was happy to present me with a cookie.
So, here's the real reason you should all go out and vote.
Someone may give you a cookie.
And Cookies are good.