The best way to do Election Day: a true story


5:28 Wake up to your roommate’s alarm as it plays the West Wing theme song. You are literally waking up to the sounds of democracy. Jolt awake because you have been so nervous about not successfully voting/the election that you weren’t able to sleep (actually, you were probably just unable to sleep because of temperature changes but keep telling yourself it was because of the election). It is still dark out.

5:31 Wake up again (you fell asleep in those three minutes. 5:29 is early!) to Avicii’s Levels which you selected and set in case the sounds of democracy didn’t successfully wake you up. Sit in bed. Check temperature. 28 degrees. Plan your layering.

5:35 Your roommate wakes up (again) to Taylor Swift’s “22” not for any reason but really just because this review was so good that you have been listening to the album on repeat.

5:50 Get dressed. Wear long underwear with a flannel, a fleece and two jackets on top of it. Bring gloves and a hat.

5:55 Head out for the polls! Wonder loudly if people actually get up this early. See people who are up this early and ask each other if they are athletes or if they are just people who exercise at six in the morning… (briefly bemoan this phenomenon).

6:04 Arrive at the polls! Get passed a flyer from someone who you think is a helpful polling official but turns out to be working for Linda McMahon. Get confused/upset.

6:07 Check in to the polling station. Ask the man if you are the first person who is there today. When he says no, get disappointed. Be nervous that they will realize that you are accidentally registered in New York and Connecticut and not let you vote. Then get nervous that a photocopy of your passport will not be accepted which is unfortunate since it is currently your only valid form of photo ID after you lost your wallet yesterday. Also think about how frustrated you would have been with the inefficiency of these two elderly gentlemen manning the polling station if there had been a line/it had not been 6:07.

6:10 Vote! Briefly be upset that there is no lever to pull because that was always the highlight of your voting experience when you would go into the booth with your parents and feel dangerous because of how illegal it felt.

6:12 Double check your ballot at the polling station until the lady who is collecting them gives you a pitying look and tells you to just hand it in. Refrain from telling her that you have the West Wing episode “Election Day” running in a loop on your head and it is making you unbelievably anxious that you did something incorrectly.

6:13 Hand in your ballot! Get a sticker! Experience the post-voting high! As you leave the station, greet people whom you have seen before with a hearty “GOOD MORNING DEMOCRACY!”

6:16-7:00 Sit upstairs in GHeav as you realize nowhere else is open.

7:00-forever Sit in Blue State as the voting high wears off. Wonder why they are playing a Spotify playlist called “Pump-up Top 40 tunes” at 7:00 a.m. Get periodically reinvigorated about the democratic process.

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