O'BRIEN: Being early is fine, but it's not for everyone

Posted: Nov. 5, 2012 10:57 pm Updated: Dec. 18, 2012 9:15 am

For many, Election Day has already come and gone. Thanks to early voting, people are able to take care of their civic duty early.

Nearly a quarter of a million people in Chicago cast their ballots early. Early voting numbers were strong in Adams County, meaning less congestion at the polls today.

That's fine with me, but I don't get the need to hit the polls early, unless. If you're going to be out of town or have another reason that you can't make it to the polls, then I can see how early voting is an advantage. Maybe I'm old-fashioned, but I'd rather wait until Election Day to cast my ballot.

There's something special about going to your polling place on Election Day. You waltz up to your precinct's table and wait for an election judge to look up your name. You sign the page and get your ballot. You find an open voting booth, pull back that red, white and blue curtain, and make your decision.

Once finished, you feed your ballot into the scanner and peek at what number voter you are for that precinct. If you're lucky, you get an "I voted" sticker to wear around like a badge for the rest of the day.

You wait around for a few hours and then find out if the people you backed won or not. It's part of a beautiful system. I can't imagine waiting around for weeks to find out the outcome.

I don't consider myself a procrastinator by any means, but there aren't many things I will do early. Among them:

º Shop on Black Friday. I realize The Herald-Whig is going to be packed with ads two weeks from tomorrow. There are going to be some really amazing deals for people who want to stand in line at midnight after they've arisen from their trypophan-induced food comas.

None of those deals will be good enough to get me to come out with the masses. I'll gladly pay a few extra bucks to buy a flat-screen TV or laptop computer if it means not having to fight for parking space and losing precious sleep over the deal.

º Figure out my taxes. More often than not, Uncle Sam usually owes the O'Brien family when it is all said and done each year.

Still, I'm not rushing to set up that January tax appointment. A March meeting will do. We'll get with our accountant, pay them more money than we probably should to do our federal and state taxes and call it a day. Anyone who is a rush to see the tax man just isn't right in my book.

º Be the first line for a movie. When Disney made its acquisition of Lucasfilm last week for a cool $4 billion, some on the Internet joked that people were going to start camping out now in order to see Star Wars 7. This is another move that I just don't understand. Of course, I have two kids and haven't seen anything but children's movies at the box office for years. Now, I'm so cheap that I wait to watch them when the get to Netflix. If I'm lucky, something I might want to see will play during a free HBO weekend on my DirecTV. That's how I saw "Hangover 2."

There isn't any movie -- not even a follow-up to "Hoosiers" or "The Natural" -- that would have me setting up a tent to go watch. I have much better things to do than to waste time hanging out with energy-drink fueled people in dire need of a bath just to see if Jar Jar Binks is making a triumphant return to the series.




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