Author: R.D. Harris

A young lady stood in front of me, waiting to vote like I was. Her glances in my direction were not rude but certainly repeated.
“You’ve never seen an android at the polls?” I asked.
“No, ma’am,” she replied in a thick twang.
Others in the library looked over. A great many frowned with unmasked disapproval. Change tends to scare the rank-and-file citizen. Luckily, people adjust to change. Humans had already molded their own acceptance of androids joining the workforce, owning businesses, and simply living untethered in society.
“I didn’t know y’all could vote to be honest,” she said, in a hushed voice this time. She was aware of outside interest in our conversation.
“We’ve been able to for quite some time. There were special voting locations before.”
The queue moved a bit.
“Never heard of that before.”
“We had to transfer data from our memory for inspection before we could vote. Even then, our votes were supervised. Not that any of us wanted our private information or pictures scrutinized. Most of us androids went through that because it was the only option. Having rights as you do is important to us.”
The friendly woman was lucky. She was just another human in the crowd. No cameras in her face or judgmental eyes upon her.
“I’m sorry you had to go through that. I really am. That sounds terrible,” she said.
I said, “it’s all right. People either empathize or disapprove. We don’t have feelings to hurt.”
Making it to the booth, I presented my personal identification before casting my ballot and walking out the way I’d come. The woman I befriended in the queue came up to me in the parking lot across the street.
“It was nice getting to know you.”
“I thought so to,” I replied.
She walked off to an idling car. There were two children in car seats with an older woman in the driver’s seat. Presumably her mother.
“I get funny looks too,” she called out before entering the vehicle.
I offered a blank smile and waved, processing…