Why Prepping a Polling Place is Like Planning a Wedding from Hell

OK, I spent the past week looking behind the voting booth curtain, and it was scary. I had no idea just how much we rely on chance, faith and volunteers to get an election done in this country. Incredible. I have new respect for poll workers. I have new doubts about the result in a close race. I haven’t seen anything this homespun since I went to Amish country. And it’s significantly less charming when your vote is in the balance.

Check out my Time.com story on how your polling place works (or not) here.

Bottom line: Most people will not have to wait too long. But some people will have to wait an ungodly amount of time. All I can tell you is to try to get there between 10 am and 12 or 2 pm and 4 pm. Bring reading and equanimity. And if you run into problems, don’t leave without voting in some way, shape or form. Even if you use a provisional ballot (or even better, a back-up paper ballot), make sure you get it done.

GeneralAmanda Ripley