A Voter’s Tale

Sunday morning, after obsessively researching my local candidates and measures, filling in my mail-in ballot, packing it in its envelope, I turned the envelope over, moistened the seal with a sponge, pressed the seal home, grabbed a pen and:



Despite the gigantic RED X indicating where my signature belonged, I signed on the:



I felt like Shelly Long in THE SHINING when she’s running around the hotel waving the knife inexpertly, sobbing as she witnesses fresh horrors around every creepy corner.

I grilled my spouse: WILL THIS RUIN MY VOTE!

He couldn’t say.

I Googled SIGNING MAIL-IN BALLOT ON ADDRESS LINE–only to find I’m the only person in America’s history of mail-in ballot voting to have done such a thing.

I went to lavote.net and ordered a new mail-in ballot, worrying that if the new ballot didn’t arrive in time I would have to go to the polls and use a:

voting machine.

So I’m one of those who mix up their lefts and rights. I can get you there, if I’m driving. If I tell you how to get there? Even if I’m driving? You will go right instead of left and we will arrive in foreign lands.

If I have to use a voting machine? Terrified I will swerve right instead of left.


By Tuesday, my new ballot had not arrived and my Shelly Long THE SHINING face had taken over 24/7. It finally dawned on Shelly to call lavote.net, which is what I should have done in the first place.

“Cross off your signature in the address line,” the voter-lady instructed. “Initial the cross-off. Then,” she continued calmly, “put in your address, and most importantly,” she said, “sign the line following the big RED X.”

“I ordered another ballot,” I wailed. “If it comes, am I screwed? HAVE I MESSED UP MY CHANCE TO VOTE!”

“You get another ballot in the mail? Rip it up, honey,” the voter-lady said. “That way they won’t come and take you away in metal handcuffs.”

And she laughed. I don’t know for how long. My mind was stuck on metal handcuffs. Metal. I would have said silver handcuffs, or just handcuffs, but she said metal handcuffs. Fascinating.

“Everything’s okay, honey,” the voter-lady said eventually. “Go vote. Hopefully your official ballot box won’t get set on fire. But if that happens,” she laughed, “just give us a call.”

Don’t be me. Don’t miss the GIANT RED X on your mail-in voting ballot. I know you won’t? But:


Yours in keeping voting simple,


About PB Rippey

Writer, wife, mother, grateful. Fiction, memoir, poetry, kidlit (MG), member SCBWI. pbwrites.wordpress.com
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1 Response to A Voter’s Tale

  1. Pingback: Debate Night Finale | PB Writes

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