My alarm goes off playing the oldie - Bitter Sweet Symphony by the Verve. I slowly stretch and unravel myself from bed. Before I get up, I peruse the latest headlines on my phone. A reminder pops on my screen and reminds me that today is election day and gives me the address for my polling location.
It also provides me an option to cast my vote virtually, if I can't make it into the polls. A lot of people are still dubious about virtual voting, but since they've implemented a new blockchain-style authentication technology to ensure the identity of the voter - my fears have been assuaged quite a bit.
For midterms, I often just use the virtual voting option. But today, I feel like interacting with others and heading to the polls.
I pull up my ride share app, tell it where I am heading and wait outside for my ride. It pulls up 10 minutes later and off we go. As I get into the roomy transport, I look over and see that one of my co-riders has a sample ballot pulled up on his iPad.
I'm not too worried about studying ahead of time; the way ballots have been configured now you don't have to extensively research beforehand.
We pull up in front of my polling place and swipe my embedded PID chip across the scanner and head to the voting pod. In it there is the standard issue desk-sized touch screen that also picks up my PID and asks me to enter my voting PIN code and logs me in to vote.
The first one up: voting for President.
It's been an interesting election year: only receiving information on the candidate’s platform, not their name, not their party - virtually anonymous. It has taken 5 years of incremental changes in the election process to finally get to this point.
It's been a huge relief since the FBI and IRS now fully vet each candidate to ensure their background is clear of any/all scandals that could impede their time in office. There is no issue with campaign financing anymore since they finally passed the law restricting every Presidential candidate to $500k to spend on an election.
I look at the 4 candidates identified only as Candidates A, B, C and D.
Under each of those “titles” is the list of their positions on a variety of popular political issues. If I want to see more than just where they stand on the scoreboard, I can click on the topic under a candidate and read a detailed position statement.
Nowadays, each party selects their final candidates the same way they always did; but this time - the identities of the candidates are withheld with only their background, experience and political positions being the focus. The identifying title they received during the primaries are changed for the national election so that the party affiliation doesn't follow the candidate to the ballot box.
With all these changes, it's easy to focus on the issues and which candidate best represents me. I don't know how my predecessors did their civic duties without it.
After looking through all my options on my ballot and making my decisions based on the data provided, I head out of my pod. I am greeted by a festooned poll worker who thanks me for participating in our democracy and offers me an "I voted" pin or sticker.
I take the pin and one of the chocolate chip cookies sitting on the table.
The poll worker than taps on her screen and asks me where I need to go from here. The polling place actually pays for your ride to your next destination when you come in-person to vote. It's a pretty decent little incentive and they always have a variety of caffeinated beverage options in the transport that are also free of charge.
Later that evening, I get a notification on my phone that the polls are now closed and a winner is in.
The winner is brought to D.C. to be unveiled to the world for the first time, alongside their opponents who will also join in on the unveiling.
As the cameras close in on her smiling face - she’s waving to the large crowd that has gathered at the Lincoln memorial, with her family and opponents in the background. There is an extreme sense of excitement going through the crowd because it turns out not only did we elect the 4th female President of the United States, we elected the first of Native American decent.
Although none of us knew it at the polls - we made history. And in a beautiful way, our country continued on a new path where we did it - not based on appearance, or party, or conscious or unconscious bias - but on the content of their character and where they want to take our country.