Doing the Thing

A week ago I received my mail ballot from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. I hadn’t been expecting it, but I voted by mail in the primary due to the COVID risk, and when I applied for the ballot then I must have signed up to receive mail-in ballots automatically.

The ballot had sat on my desk unopened for a week, waiting for me to fill it out and return it, and when I received an email from the local Democratic Party on Friday that there would be a “ballot march” on Saturday — a gathering at a local park, followed by a march to deliver the ballot to the secure drop-off in downtown York — I decided to make an outing of it.

Yesterday morning I filled out my ballot. For president, there was only one real choice.

For state representative, Mike Jones is running unopposed. I’m not a fan of Jones, so I wrote in my go-to write-in candidate, my former Diamond colleague, Todd Kaylor.

Though Todd is very much in the “if elected, I will not serve” mold, he has a bold platform on lowered tariffs on Funko POP! vinyl figures.

After making my choices, I sealed my ballot in the white security envelope, sealed it again in the outer envelope, signed it, and dated it.

Before I left for the march downtown I picked up my mail, and I received a postcard imploring me to vote for Eugene DePasquale in the Congressional race.

I’d already voted for DePasquale. Frankly, there was never any chance that I’d have voted for his opponent, Scott Perry. Perry is, to be frank, little more than a FOX News troll, a right-wing nationalist who’s in government to destroy it, who thinks anyone who disagrees with him is a socialist.

KB of the St. Louis area, thank you for writing me. I did what I could to get Scott Perry out of office and to put Eugene DePasquale into Congress.

I missed the ballot march.

The details on Facebook were sketchy, a vague “12 to 2.” I parked in the Philadelphia Street garage, across from the York Central Market, and visiting the market for the first time in a few years. I bought some pretzel dogs from a stand for lunch and a bottle of apple wine from the Burnt Timbers Winery stand. It was very lively in downtown York; there was a street festival with a band, and I saw a woman walking miniature pony.

After putting the bottle of wine in my car, I walked over to Penn Park. I was hoping to see a crowd of people. Instead, I saw a single man, wearing a worn green jacket that looked like Army surplus, sitting on a bench, smoking a cigarette.

After taking some photos of the Civil War memorial and making a survey of the park to ascertain that there was no massed group of local Democrats, I began to walk back toward downtown and the secure ballot box.

Then, along George Street, I found the ceremony and speeches that followed the ballot march in a parking lot by City Hall.

The speakers — including a minister and a speaker from the local NAACP chapter — talked about the importance of voting, the work and inspiration of the the late John Lewis, the importance for making “good trouble,” and getting involved. After this, I walked my ballot the rest of the way to the secure drop box on Market Street.

The secure drop is secure in the sense that it’s guarded. Otherwise, it’s basically a closed recycle bin with drop slot at the top. An election worker asked me a few questions before I dropped it in — was it sealed in the security envelope? was the outer envelope signed and dated? was I the voter handling the ballot? — and after it was dropped I felt as though my civic duty had been discharged.

Later that afternoon, I received an email from the board of elections that they had received and logged my ballot.

I then checked out the old cemetery at the Episcopalian Church downtown. I’d looked at it briefly about seven years ago, though I hadn’t taken any photos or taken a closer look.

It’s a very small cemetery — and very old. The church is pre-Revolutionary War, and, as I understand it, there are Hessian soldiers buried there.

Though it was overcast and always looked as though rain threatened, it was warm enough that I left my hoodie in the Beetle atop the parking garage. It was a nice day for an outing, on perhaps one of the last warm days of the year.

Published by Allyn Gibson

A writer, editor, journalist, sometimes coder, occasional historian, and all-around scholar, Allyn Gibson is the writer for Diamond Comic Distributors' monthly PREVIEWS catalog, used by comic book shops and throughout the comics industry, and the editor for its monthly order forms. In his over ten years in the industry, Allyn has interviewed comics creators and pop culture celebrities, covered conventions, analyzed industry revenue trends, and written copy for comics, toys, and other pop culture merchandise. Allyn is also known for his short fiction (including the Star Trek story "Make-Believe,"the Doctor Who short story "The Spindle of Necessity," and the ReDeus story "The Ginger Kid"). Allyn has been blogging regularly with WordPress since 2004.

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