I went to get it out of the way this morning before work. The polls in Ohio opened at 6:30 a.m.; I arrived at my voting location right around 7:00. From there it took about 45 minutes to complete the voting process, most of which consisted of standing in line. The good news about that is that a lot of people were getting out to vote. The bad news is that the process was a disorganized mess. There were three different tables, and few people knew which line they were supposed to be in. People were standing around on one side of the room waiting for voting booths, while plenty were open on the other side. It wasn't quite the most frustrating experience of my life, but it certainly could have been run better.
To be fair, given traditional low voter turnout, maybe they just weren't expecting to have that many people, especially so early in the morning. This was my first time voting at this particular location, so I don't know for sure.
In addition to voting for Mr. Kerry, I'm also proud to say that I voted against Issue 1. Ohio's Issue 1 is an motion to amend Ohio's constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman. In short, it says that not only can gay marriage not take place in Ohio, but that the state of Ohio would not recognize gay marriages that took place elsewhere. There are plenty of other provisions in this medieval proposal that would make life more difficult even for straight couples who live together but aren't married, to the point that even many opponents of gay marriage were against it.
Unfortunately, it will probably pass nonetheless, and not by a small margin. I'm sad to say that there are many narrow-minded individuals in this state who would pass any legislation that would marginalize gays. It seems that these people can't be happy unless they successfully force their own views onto society at large. I was extremely disheartened this morning to come into work this morning and immediately walk through a discussion of Issue 1 in which a couple of my co-workers were vociferously speaking in favor of it. They understood the complications it could create for straight non-married couples (myself and Brandi among them), but so strong was their feeling that gay marriage should not be allowed (never mind the fact that it's already not allowed in Ohio) that the specifics of the bill didn't matter. Three cheers for prejudice, yes?
At any rate, I made my voice heard this morning, and now all I can do is hope that it makes a difference. I'll be keeping an eye on the results this evening.