I’d like to introduce you to some of the people I met while being an election judge. My team manned a ballot box drop-off location at a King Soopers grocery store. Thanks to Randy and his staff for having us there. There is a great bunch of go-getters working at the store on Timberline and Drake.
You see all kinds of humanity in a busy place like that. Here is a sampling. The elderly lady with a severe back problem, who made three or four trips to the store each day, walking bent over in a slow shuffle. She never bought more than one or two items at a time, it would have been impossible for her to carry the weight of a larger quantity. Mostly, she walked around the store looking at the beautiful produce, or sat in the coffee shop and rested. The store is her place to go. I heard one employee call her ‘Grandma.’ Each time she was acknowledged, she returned a beautiful smile. The acknowledgment made her day. This store is her go-to place and getting there is her exercise, probably her only motivation to get out of her house.
We saw one gentleman every day we were there, and he was thrilled to have us come to ‘his’ store. I tried not to let myself get irritated because he was truly harmless. I know he was trying to be amusing when he ‘entertained’ us with jokes that weren’t really funny, and that this place was his socialization site too. The third regular wore lime green tennis shoes, pastel turquoise polyester slacks, and a hunter green plaid shirt – every day. I particularly adored one older gentleman in need of a shave. He came in his robe, flannel pajamas, and house slippers.
We saw people in wheel chairs, using walkers, walking with prosthetics, using white canes, and those on their way to or from the gym in their work-out clothes or cycling shorts. Children went by who smiled when we smiled, or hid their faces in embarrassment. Some were tired and crying, wanting to be home, needing a nap. One cranky child at the end of his rope, returned our smile with a grimace and a raspberry.
The voters came, one by one, some on a mission to get it done, others pleased to be doing their civic duty. Parents came with children to let them participate in the democratic process. Spouses dropped by ballots for each other. Every race, every religion, every culture and every socio-economic level was represented in the steady stream of voters who cast their ballot. What a great opportunity to remember how blessed this country we live in is, simply because, no matter how we dress, or by what means we get to the ballot box, we have the right to vote.