by Elaine Burgess

Have you voted yet?  I voted at one of the early voting sites yesterday.  The ballot was long, but the line to get in was not.  Almost all the people voting had gray hair; one person was in a wheelchair and another who was about 19 years old was being herded by his mother.  Since it was just after noon time, I’m thinking that younger voters were either at school or at work? (I’m a “glass half full” kind of person.)  I was glad to see League of Women Voters’ publications at the door for those who needed some guidance.The 19 year old didn’t pick one up.  Apparently his Mom had already clued him in.

The clerk issued me a ballot after asking my name, date of birth, and address. (No, I didn’t need to show any ID, because my information apparently turned up accurately on her computer.)   I took it to one of the cubicles, sat in the chair, and completely filled in each little bubble in front of the progressive candidate’s name.  I filled in the bubble “do not retain” for some of the judges, and endorsed all the bond issues on the ballot. Then  I took it to a clerk who inserted the ballot into the machine that recorded and counted my vote.  It was only the 87th ballot to be cast on that machine that day.  (Where were all the voters?  It should have been at least the 287th ballot by 1 PM, don’t you think?)  The clerk gave me an “I Voted” sticker. On the way out I chatted up two or three people waiting to vote.

Then I went to the gym.  With each weight I lifted, I worried more about how few people were at the early voting site.  Then I started asking folks, “Have you voted yet?” Most said they hadn’t.  Some didn’t know where. I told them.  Some were conflicted about the candidates; I suggested they pick up a League of Women Voters publications at the entryway.  Some said they never vote. They got a lecture from me about our democracy, their responsibility, the possible effects of them not voting and a “shame on you” look on my face.

So, if you have voted,  GOOD FOR YOU! If you haven’t voted yet, do it today!  You might have the flu tomorrow, or win the lottery, or get out of town company, or endure some other happening that would nullify your political choices.  Do it! Vote today! If you don’t know where to vote early, check it out on a local Voter Guide web site like: For central New Mexico candidate information:, a League of Women Voters web site.