Tuesday, November 4, 2008

did you vote?

Wow, it's been a whole week. Yarn to review, hockey games to talk about, computers to fuss at, television ads to avoid.

Actually, this will be a short one, because I want to talk about voting.

Today is the day that the people here in the US get to use what the founding fathers and their followers fought for: the right to vote for representation.

It's been a long time since I've seen lines of people waiting patiently in long lines for anything that they didn't pay for. I was very impressed with the lines I saw - even tho they meant that those people were having to take off work, or missing their soaps, or anything else they usually do on a gorgeous Tuesday. The weather was perfect!.

I looked out my window at 7 this morning (my polling place is across the street at the clubhouse, 50 yards away) and saw the line stretching out the door, around the building and down the block. There must have been 400 people in line. I went back to bed for an hour - I figured by 8:30, people would be off to work and there's be less of a line. I was right - there was less of a line, but it was still there. I actually waited until about 9:30 to walk over. They did have a choice between touchscreen and 'opti-scan' (bubble marks with an ink pen), and the optical didn't have a wait, so I did a manual ballot. The election officals were telling people that the touchscreen was faster, but I don't think so. I was in and out in 15 minutes, and there were still people waiting for the touchscreens, and the intake line had grown again as well. I must have timed it just right.

I was the 366th person to use the opti-scan, and the 617th person overall to come through at Hazelcrest. Wow. At 9:30!! I remember voting for Clinton in 1992, and there were only 382 people registered to vote at that particular polling place. I wonder what the turnout will be after 5PM??

On the way to work, I pass a library, several churches, a city hall, and a school. Everywhere that there was a polling place, there was a line out to the parking lot. From what I understand, in other areas of the county and city, stores are giving out coffee, donuts, and danishes to people in line, and if you have a "I Voted" sticker, you can get free FOOD in some places. Chik-Fil-A in the mall is offering a free sandwich if you have a sticker, Starbucks is giving away free coffee, and Krispy Kreme is giving away donuts. All for a sticker! I'll be having chicken for dinner tonight! LOL!

I've been reading the Post's coverage and things seem to be pretty smooth - the weather was a huge factor here, so people aren't complaining about standing in lines. I've also read about some of the electioneering, but (ha!) there was no-one on duty when I went to vote, so I didn't get the flyer harrassment that I usually see.

I'll be mostly avoiding the networks tonight - I have stuff to do on the computer, and the results won't be in until tomorrow or later anyway. I liked what Leno said last night, tho - he was happy to see that people have reached the saturation point of negative ads. We want to know about the ISSUES, not how 20 years ago one candidate sat in the living room of someone who 40 years ago was involved in political protests.

I've already posted this to my LiveJournal, and if you are registered to vote but have not (and are in the US), watch.

I think that's all for me right now. Yarn reviews and other stuff later.


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