My heart is breaking.
There have been many times lately that my heart has felt like an ax has been plunged into it and twisted around a bit, a lot, but today my heart feels burdened beyond description.
I was raised in a small town on the coast of Maine. In addition to being the town secretary, town tax collector, and town treasurer, my grandmother served as woman-in-charge-of-elections. I think that was her official title.
From watching her on those days, I grew to see poll workers as nothing less than saints. The long hours. The meticulous detail. The unswerving honesty, fairness, and courtesy.
Back in those days there was all the counting.
But, today, getting to see cheating up close and personal, to have to touch it, to be asked to smile back into the faces of the cheaters was just too much for me.
In my own small county in Virginia, one of those states that is being looked at through a magnifying glass, the cheating probably began last night.
The machines were set up. And then they were misprogrammed.
They were programmed to not work right. Oops.
My bad. Human error.
Except that the exact same human error occurred in this polling place, and that polling place, and that one over there.
What a coincidence. Huh.
When that wasn’t good enough, wrong district ballots were distributed, and now we are hearing the announcement that almost 200 ballots won’t have all their votes counted because district 7 people were given district 1 ballots.
Oops. My bad. What was I thinking?
I happened to be on a telephone call and learned that someone on the other end was actually having to go back to vote again, because, oops, some mishap took place, and I reminded the people on the other end of the phone call to be grateful, at least they have a chance to vote again.
But there were hundreds of people turned away because the voting machines weren’t working in the early hours (oops, my bad, we’re sooooooo sorry) and they still had to drive up Route 95 to their jobs in DC, and how were they supposed to get back in time to vote?
When I finally waited in line for an hour-and-a-half (not bad, she says with relief), only to see three voting machines for the hundreds of people waiting to vote, and I watched as an official put her key card into one of the machines, I said, I’m not using one of those.
All my respect for poll workers had evaporated.
So I got in line for the paper ballots.
And now all I have to do is pray that no other, oops, my bad, mishap will happen to it, and that it will, on this day of cheating, be counted. Somehow.