I have fond memories of being a little kid and waiting with my mom at the local polling place on election day. We’d get there early. We’d finally get to the front of the line. My mom would sign in and the three of us would follow her, sauntering over to the curtained booth.
After crowding inside, I’d watch her face and her hands, seeking out the desired row, and she’d use her fingers and pull down all the little knobs. She’d let us to some too. Down the row. Tick tick tick tick.
We’d step back and then she’d pull that big, heavy – it seemed so big back then – lever, that historical piece of American machinery. Ka-thunk.
She’d pull back the curtain and we’d all go back out into the fluorescent lit room, the communal, patriotic, public space.
It felt special, it felt important.