#301: A House Alive, A Long Day at the Polls

We hung some much-needed pantry shelves this past weekend. And after finally moving in, and settling in, I’ve become much attuned to how our old house lives and breathes – in a way I never was with apartments I’ve rented.

Maybe the keyword in that last sentence is “old” – it’s an old house, with floor slats that contract and grow, basement walls that sweat during heavy rainstorms, hairline cracks in plaster that show in the winter but, as I’m told by a neighbor, will heal themselves comes summer, come expansion. There was a time not long ago when all I wanted was right angles and perfect humidity. Now I think I’m learning to appreciate range.

We had our presidential primary here in Michigan yesterday, and I worked a polling location in Southwest Detroit. I frankly don’t know why it took me so long to sign up to be a poll worker. If you, like me, marvel at the act of casting a vote come election-time, marvel at how simple yet powerful of an act this is, and how strange and archaic it feels – I urge you to look into working the polls wherever you live. If you get frustrated at how long it takes results to get reported on election nights – you can do something about it!

Casting your vote is solitary, but helping people vote is the opposite. It’s heartening to not just see, but also interact with folks you normally wouldn’t cross paths with, all of them participating in this singular (and singularly weird) thing. I would venture to guess that only a small fraction of you reading this letter have jobs that expose you to all segments of the population, the way that, say, nurses, grocery store cashiers, and Lyft drivers are. Voting is something that, while not every single person does, people from all groups do.

If you want to get more involved in your community and are not sure how, you could do worse than working the polls.

For those here in the states, you can find out how to become a poll worker in your state on the U.S. Election Assistance Commission website.