The first time I voted in New York, I was registered Green Party (oh, the idealism).
I went to the local elementary school and was surprised that if you were not registered Republican or Democrat, you didn't get a booth with one of those giant machines from the 1940's that everyone else got. Instead, I was seated at a round table sized for kindergarteners and was handed a bright yellow paper ballot to fill out. Usually one's vote is cloaked in privacy. But this time, mine was announced to the rest of the room.
I finished voting for Eagle Freewoman or Jordan Chavez-Steinbaum or whoever the hell the Green Party was running that year and handed the paper to the volunteer.
"Can I have a sticker?" I asked.
"You wanna WHAT?" she said.
"A sticker. You know, the little sticker that says 'I voted.'"
"A STICKAH? Where'dju see that?"
"In California we get these stickers - "
"Oh, my gawd. That is so Califowneea. No. We don't have stickahs. OH!" She shook her head and shoulders in a convulsive and eerily silent laugh.
I walked towards the door feeling green in not just one but now two ways. Before I got outside, I heard the lady chuckle to herself again.