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90 Minutes to "Hell, Yeah!"

Tarun detests waiting in line for more than five minutes. Any line. Even in a grocery store he gets antsy if the checkout queue has more than one person. Home Depot gets 10 whole minutes. Fuhgeddaboudit standing in a really long line!

I am pleased to say we had a milestone event in our lives today - he waited for 90 minutes to vote. I have no doubt that my awesome company on a balmy fall day must have been the reason. Ok fine! I may not have been the only reason this year.

When he saw the cars, he tried to alter course by saying we should go to another location but there was no guarantee that the lines would be shorter elsewhere.

At first, we couldn't understand the reason for the snaking queue. Are they only letting a couple of voters in at a time? Are they taking time to sanitize the hallways, chairs, tables, booths in between voters? And then we realized that in all the years of voting for primary, mid-term, and presidential elections, never - NEVER! - have we see so many people waiting to vote!

We are at record breaking pace - 29M people in 45 states have already voted and that is 350% higher than at the same time in 2016 (NBC News). Liberals are coming out in droves. I suspect conservatives are too. Trump has finally united us: we are angry at the other side and we are ready to make our choice.

Every voter was masked and most people kept 6'-ish distance. The elderly were directed to curbside voting. Yours truly was coughing because something in the air was happily making its home in the throat. I was trying to suppress my cough, hiding my masked mouth in my elbow and kicking myself for not bringing water to soothe the tickle.

After several bouts of coughing, the gent in front couldn't handle his anxiety. In the politest of tones he asked, "Are you feverish?" while probably screaming inside his head, "LADY, DO YOU HAVE COVID??!!" I reassured him of the root cause. When we exited he said bye to us which makes me hope that he will rest well tonight.

Back to voting.

In the booth, I started circling the oval for my Presidential pair. I continued on and on in hopes of perfection. Nothing outside the line, no white spot, avoid ripping the paper. When the ballot slipped into the scanner, I instinctively looked at the nearest election officer for a "I voted" sticker. But none was offered for fear of human contamination. Sigh!

We bathed in hand sanitizer after exiting the building and we whipped off our masks when we got away from the crowd. As I got into the car, a wave of relief washed over me at the power we had just wielded.

If you haven't voted yet, make time, take your BFF, mask up, stay hydrated, wear a hat, charge your phone, and have your very own "Hell, yeah!" moment like we did today.



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