ELECTION DAY COVERAGE (Featuring Storm Chaser Greg)

Storm Chaser Greg here, and a big “HELLO” goes out to my many fans and fellow Cycle365ers. As you can see, I’m not very happy today. That’s because I’m not out doing live reports on blizzards, hurricanes, tornadoes, and other horrific weather events. Nosiree. Only three weeks after MY Town got the second heaviest October snowstorm in history, and only one week after MY Town suffered a record low temperature for one of the days, summer has inexplicably returned to MY Town. In fact, we’re expecting a near-record HIGH temperature of 70-degrees today. Bright sunshine too. What the heck’s up with that?

Now, some people might consider a day like this to be nearly perfect — a godsend. Well, they wouldn’t think that if they were one of the top storm chasers and weather reporters in the country, and then suddenly there is no inclement weather to report, and as a result they were relegated to second-class election coverage. That’s where I’m at today. Management gave me an ultimatum: “Ride your bike to, and submit reports on the Hastings polling places . . . or get fired!

Since they put it THAT way, I accepted my demotion and headed over to my local polling place just before the 7:00 opening time, The sky was almost as pretty as this sky, which I photographed a couple of days ago.

I saw a mere 22 cars in the parking lot of the Methodist Church. Just a few minutes earlier, I was watching the Channel 5 news and they were showing various polling places around the Twin Cities where there were lines of up to 100 people waiting for the doors to open. And they were predicting longer lines to come.

I voted last week to avoid long lines, so I was a little disappointed that there were no long lines here. I KNOW the citizens of MY Town vote. Maybe they just aren’t early risers. Or maybe a high percentage of them voted early. I don’t know.

Or maybe we have a high ratio of polling places to population. As a responsible journalist, I forced myself to look up the total number of polling places (8) and the total number of citizens (22,713). According to my cheap calculator, that amounts to one polling place for every 2,839.125 people. I did not take the extra step of finding out how that compares to other Minnesota cities.

Look, I’m a storm chaser, not a political wonk, so I went back home to take my dog for a walk before heading out again.

Most of the polling sites in MY Town are churches. This one is the Calvary Baptist Church and there were 28 cars in the parking lot. I was intrigued by the rays of God’s own light summoning voters to kick Trump out of office.

The next stop was back at the Methodist Church. Now there were 30 cars. Still not overwhelming lines though.

Our Savior’s Lutheran Church had 48 cars in its lot, which was the highest total I saw. St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church had 34 cars. St. Phillips Lutheran Church had 31 cars. Hastings City Hall had lots of cars, but there is no way to tell how many of them were voters and how many of them were city employees.

I have to admit, I didn’t go to all eight voting stations. I simply used accepted statistical standards and was able to extrapolate the number of cars at any given time at any given polling place to be around 30-35. I also observed numerous people walking to the polling places. Everybody wore masks. Refusal to do so in Minnesota would result in a $100 fine. (Anybody care to guess what presidential candidate would get the vote of those folks who refused?)

The Reckless Mr. Bing Bong wanted to vote but, alas, until the laws change, bikes are not allowed to vote. Perhaps someday The Reckless Mr. Bing Bong could be the Susan B. Anthony of bicycle enfranchisement.

What the . . .?

Okay, I had to laugh when I came across that one. I aimed away from the real voting place to make it look like that “Garceau” was a one-man voting station. LAUGHOUTLOUD!

No weather reporting. No storm chasing. Just election stuff and riding around in this sunshine while wearing shorts once again. And there was one more indignity inflicted upon me. My next door neighbor asked if I would let her dogs out while she was serving all day as a volunteer election official.

I’ve sunk from celebrity storm chaser, to election doofus, to dog-sitter. Mandy suns herself on the lawn while Blossom and my dog Diggity enjoy the patio.

Hi. My name is Greg and I ride my bike a lot. That is to say, I ride my bike almost every day. I go on long rides and short rides. Sunny rides, cloudy rides, and rainy rides. I like commuting, errand-running, day-tripping, overnighting, and touring on my bike. I ride on city streets, highways, gravel, single track, and snow with equal enthusiasm. Sometimes I ride fast and sometimes I ride slow. I try to keep my feet on the pedals at stop lights and I do not dismount when I hop up on a curb. I have a roadie bike, a mountain bike and a touring bike. I try to accept any challenge a bike ride can throw at me without complaint. But I don't like bugs.

11 response to "ELECTION DAY COVERAGE (Featuring Storm Chaser Greg)"

  1. By: Bill Stone Posted: November 3, 2020

    Voting in a garceau! What a concept! Great way to self-isolate while casting ballot. The big laugh you gave me was almost enough to calm my Election Day jitters.

    PS: I felt compelled to steal your voting booth photo and post it at my site.

    • By: gregblood Posted: November 3, 2020

      Election day jitters indeed. The next few days will be very interesting.

      And I can think of no greater honor than to have my photo posted on your site. Since I posted it, I thought of another joke: There should be a sign on the Garceau saying, “Trump voters, please place your ballots in the bowl inside the blue voting booth.”

      • By: Bill Stone Posted: November 4, 2020

        Trump voters, please place your ballots in the bowl inside the blue voting booth.

        If only. Looks like Sonoma County voted for Biden over Trump 67% to 31%, which closely matches the split in California as a whole.

        Addendum: After all (?) mail ballots counted, looks like Sonoma County went nearly 80% for Biden.

    • By: Seasidejanet Posted: November 3, 2020

      I totally agree……….something to laugh about today is a good thing!! Thanks as always.

  2. By: Rich-Illinois Posted: November 3, 2020

    Can’t quite make out what it says on the Garceau, but, I’m pretty sure it says Deposit Trump Votes HERE.

    • By: gregblood Posted: November 3, 2020

      Hey, we came up with the same joke.

      • By: Rich-Illinois Posted: November 3, 2020

        …………………GMTA :)…………………….

  3. By: Laura Posted: November 4, 2020

    Early voting was only held in four places in our metro area…a city of more than a half million. When I went, there were so many cars that I had trouble finding a parking place. However, the operation was so slick once I arrived at the entrance that I wasn’t out of my car more than 20 minutes. I don’t know if this is the case for all voting this year, but here you did not have to go to an assigned polling place. You could show up at any of the four or any of the dozen or so election-day-voting places. Finding out who won most of the elections is not nearly as well oiled, but I’ve loved the options we’ve had this year as far as how we place our votes.

  4. By: The Navigator Posted: November 4, 2020

    I am glad you got some warm shorts weather and God shined that light at the Cavalry Baptist Church since MN did its part in voting blue. I hope that your election coverage gig is over very soon and you can go back to reporting on inclement weather.

  5. By: Lednar De Nalloh Posted: November 4, 2020

    ‘Wonk’, I googled it and it’s my word of the day but I don’t know if it’ll catch on here. Our voting places are full of folks trying to shove ‘how to vote’ slips in your hand and are usually at schools with hot dogs. Wishing you some extreme weather.

Leave a Reply