What a day. Here in the Northeast, the weather is perfect. Sunny, warm with just a hint of autumn chill. You couldn't ask for a better day for an election.
I arrived at the polling place shortly before they opened. I had to park on the lawn as the parking lot at the Municipal Center was completely full. I find the line for my precinct ...holey moley...it's a very, very long line. As I head off to the end of the line, I see one of my neighbors, who assures me that I'm following the correct line for Precinct 3.
As I'm waiting on line, more and more people are arriving. Yes, people *are* turning out in droves and this is a good thing. Americans who are born here often take the right to vote for granted. But not this year. And it feels good. For once, people really, really care about the election. It's amazing and just fantastic.
Once the polls open, the lines move surprisingly fast. In about 10 minutes, I'm checking in and receiving my ballot. The room is full of small voting booths (we use paper ballots...the "color-in-the-circle" type). I head towards the closest open booth and grab the pen. Some idiot forgot to put the cap back on but no harm done. The pen hadn't dried up yet.
I quickly go through the items. Someone told me that the Presidential candidates are listed alphabetically so I'm careful to check for my candidate. There he is! OK...I fly through the rest of the ballot. A lot of the positions list a single candidate for my county...easy. The ballot questions are easy as well. I did hesitate over the question regarding banning dog racing. I'm not 100% sure that the animals are really abused and I feel bad about people having to lose their jobs if this question passes. I think over the discussions I had with co-workers the other day, weigh the pros and cons and finally come to a decision.
I hand in my ballot and head out into the sun. The traffic to get out is a mess, but I don't mind. It feels good to feel election energy! There's a young boy in a school bus yelling out the window, "Obama, Obama, you have to vote for Obama!" I love that someone who isn't able to vote yet is so enthusiastic.
I luck out with the traffic. There's a sudden gap and I'm able to turn around and get onto the road. Off to work now, feeling good that I've done my civic duty. I am a good American citizen today! Tonight, I'll be gathering with my good friends to watch the results. I am hopeful that my candidate will win, but, I'm not willing to be overconfident yet.
And for once, America doesn't look like a country full of apathetic, lazy slobs. Today, we are a nation of engerized, involved people. If only we would stay that way.