Last Push for Voter Registration - Pike Market, Seattle


I took off with my clipboard to First and Pike in the area of the Pike Place Market.

I quickly found that the tourists off the cruise ships ignored me. I suspected that they found the Market an exotic and possibly scary place and that it might be a mistake to talk to someone like me. I also suspected that alot of them came from flyover states and were already registered - to vote for people I do not think would be good for this country.

I know the Market well and it is labyrinthine. I knew I would be wasting my time to stand out in a busy area like a hawker. I went down in the depths of the market and across to the competing Sanitary Market and I focussed on the merchants themselves. I was surprised to learn how many work seven days a week. Some were unclear about what they needed to do to be able to vote, though they had the intent to do so.

I processed new registrations, name changes, address changes and gave out forms for elderly parents. I was also thanked many times for what I was doing, but mostly by the merchants and a few young people. I was assured by some merchants that they had in fact already registered and were desperate to vote.

It was encouraging enough that I may try to it tomorrow, before returning to work, as this is the last weekend before the deadline. I did have quite a few people tell me they were uneasy because they didn't have their absentee ballots yet, or assurance in writing that they could vote. I told them to check on line and wish I'd had with me the link for doing so. Most didn't know it existed.

Overall, there was an excitement about being able to vote, a suspicion about the system and its integrity and a skepticism about the results of the last two elections. There was a nervousness about whether their ballot would be received, sent off properly, read and annotated and finally counted. There was also an enthusiasm this year that I have never seen before.

The "Ubiquitous Pig" book was part of a display of used goods. I picked up the book, to take a closer look, and the card which is shown in the photo fell out of it!