By Megan Reece
Nov. 4 was Election Day. Some readers may need this reminder because, with the high number of voters using early voting and mail-in ballots, many did not have to visit their polling places this year. From the look of the Wayside Inn at lunchtime on Tuesday though, it appeared that many Berthoud residents still came out to vote the old-fashioned way, in a curtained booth with pen and paper. “I find it a little bit patriotic,” said Paul Jones. The experience of voting gave him a stronger sense of duty to his country, he said. Voting is also a great way to get out and mingle with people he does not see very often. Jake Cooper, another Election Day voter, said the best reason he can see for mail-in voting is if one is handicapped or sick. Early voting lets everyone’s voice be heard without punishing those who cannot leave their homes. Outdoor people seem to enjoy voting in person, Cooper added. Some voters were present simply because they did not sign up for the mail-in ballot on time. Graham Krutar said he is not good at “getting my ducks in a row.” He found out last minute where his polling location was and made it out in time to cast his ballot. Michele Visger did not get signed up in time either, but she made the most of her experience and brought her two young children with her to the polls. “They see the hype on TV,” she said, and wondered what the whole process was like. She used her voting as an educational opportunity and treated them to lunch and a day off. Visger said she also personally enjoys coming to the polls and taking in the entire experience. Misti Gudino was at the polls on Tuesday “because I wait until the last minute to do everything!” She decided to come on her lunch break and not wait until the end of the day to risk a long line. Lisa Lindgren, sporting her “I Voted!” sticker, said she never did get a mail-in ballot, likely because she had not yet changed her address when the reminders were sent out. She considered voting early, but decided it wasn’t convenient enough. “This is easy!” she said of voting at The Wayside Inn. “This isn’t how it looks on TV!” Lindgren was referring to the highly-publicized voting lines in big cities. She has a friend in Chicago for whom it took hours to get through the entire voting process. Lindgren was in and out in less than half an hour. For Steve Foxworth, voting in person is “for me, just the process.” Coming to the polls gives him time to take things seriously and really take a close look at the issues. People can “easily check yes or no at home,” Foxworth said, but coming to the polls puts voters in a situation in which voting is all they are thinking about. However you voted, thanks for taking the time.
<p>Berthoud voter Lisa Lindgren shows off her “I Voted” sticker</p>
<p>Hundreds gather at the Larimer County Democrat headquarters</p>
<p>Berthoud voters could grab a bite to eat immediately following voting at the Wayside Inn</p>