Show me a rule, and I’m almost certain to follow it.

I come to a full stop at stop signs. I never pass on the right. I brush my teeth for two minutes, and I wash my hands for the recommended 20 seconds.

Refusing to cooperate with authority figures makes me squirm. If someone asks me to do something — and it’s in my power to obey — I am not only happy to oblige, I’m usually eager.

Aaron Weinstein

But today, when I was asked to show identification to cast my ballot, I refused.

Why? That’s a bit of a story.

It begins with me setting out for work. I teach politics at Fairfield University. My first class of the day is Introduction to American Politics. We’re talking about campaigns and elections.

I wanted to get in, vote, and get out. It’s pretty early in the morning, and when I pull up to my polling place there are plenty of spaces and no lines.

When I go in they ask for my ID. I tell them I have one, but I won’t show it to them. I tell them that I’d like to sign an affidavit attesting to the fact that I am who I say I am, and that I will pay a fine if I’m lying.

I am completely at peace with this decision. The poll workers, however, are less than enthusiastic.

They move me from the check-in to a separate table in the middle of the room, where I speak with a gentleman who — on any other day — would probably like me quite a bit.

Wouldn’t it be easier to just show me your ID?

Yes, but I’d like to sign the affidavit.

Don’t you have mail with your address on it? Or a credit card with a signature?

Yes to both, but no. I’d like the affidavit, please.

After a few minutes, I could tell he was getting frustrated with me. I don’t blame him. The situation was uncomfortable for everyone involved. I nearly broke several times. I would have loved nothing more than to get on my way to work. I hate confrontation, and even this nice man’s exasperation was putting my resolve to the test.

But I persevered.

I stood there, stewing in the awkward silence as he called to track down the affidavits. He rifled through folders, pausing every few minutes to repeat himself.

You know, this could all be over if you just showed me your ID.

Yes, I know.

By this point I had been waiting to vote for about 20 minutes.

You may be forgiven for being annoyed with me. I know the poll worker was. And I can understand why. Wasn’t I contributing to long lines? Why couldn’t I just make the process go smoothly?

The answer is: Because it took me 20 minutes to vote when it should have taken me fraction of that time, had he known where the right form was.

Because it is my right to vote.

Because, as the Secretary of the State of Connecticut’s website indicates, I (and every other Nutmegger) is entirely within my rights to “sign an affidavit in lieu of showing an ID.”

Because the request was not, is not, and will never be an unreasonable one.

And because the poll workers should have been prepared for this common request.

I’m remarkably privileged: I am upper-middle class, white, and a man. I have an advanced degree. I have a roof over my head and know where my next meal is coming from.

And I have an ID. I could have shown it.

But what about the person who comes in during their lunch break, who doesn’t have an ID, and who doesn’t have 20 minutes to wait around for the poll worker to locate the proper form? Or who feels so intimidated they simply give up?

Their vote—which they are just as entitled to cast as I am, and as you are—wouldn’t be counted. And that is wrong.

Please do not misunderstand me. I applaud and admire the work of our poll workers. They keep democracy going. These individuals are patriots, and in many localities are serving under truly terrifying conditions. In fact I took a moment to thank the gentleman whose morning I most certainly complicated.

All the same, it is concerning that every year it appears our poll workers lack the support and training they require. It’s not their fault, but it is something I know I can address by making myself (and, yes, them) a little uncomfortable for a few minutes.

So every two years I go against type. I make myself a gadfly.

Do I like it? Not one bit. But I’ll keep at it. Because if I’m lucky, I made it that much easier for some fellow citizens to participate in this fantastic thing we call the American experiment.

Aaron Weinstein lives in Bridgeport.