The early bird catches the "I Voted" sticker.

A vote for voting early in Denver

Early voting. Early voting. Blah, blah, blah. I hear it every day. Everyone suggests it because it’s easier and you can avoid the lines. Mayor Hickenlooper voted on Wednesday.

Somehow, I never seem to get around to voting early, however. Maybe it’s something about the adrenalin of voting on Election Day itself, seeing my neighbors, returning home or to work to watch results roll in. Maybe I’m just a lazy procrastinator.

But that changed this year. Why? Well, I was honored early this yesterday morning by a voicemail message from a real person named Deb (or possibly Bev) Seligman – probably a volunteer – with the Barack Obama/Mark Udall campaign.

"Probably I don’t need to do this," she said. "But I’m going to remind you to vote early. If you have a mail-in ballot, if you haven’t already mailed it, you can take it to those early voting locations." Then she told me the name and address of the closest polling place to my house.

I almost cried.

Well, not really. But I figured it was a sign – a sign that I should actually get off my butt and get on with what history may or may not reveal as one of the most important presidential election ever held in the U.S. of A. I know it’s one of the most important in my own personal history (which only dates back only twenty years, to the 1988 contest between George H.W. Bush and Michael Dukakis; in fact, this will be only the second election I have voted in that didn’t include a Bush).

And it was a beautiful day to make history. Crisp. Blue skies. Red and gold leaves falling all around the Montclair Recreation Center in the Lowry neighborhood at 729 Ulster. It was even lovely inside, where yellow-shirted election volunteers merrily helped a steady flow of people to the voting booths, giving them a choice of paper or electronic ballots.

I was actually surprised that there were nearly ten voters there already, either standing at a booth, checking their registrations or…waiting in line. Yep, the volunteers said. It was actually slow, and she expected the pace to pick up as November 4 approaches.

So takes Deb’s (or Bev’s) advice, and vote early. Blah, blah, blah. – Jonathan Shikes

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