Tuesday, November 02, 2004

My Voting Experience

Note: Yes, I know, this is off topic, but as it's an historic occasion I'm going to make an exception.

I returned from voting less than an hour ago. When I arrived at my polling place the line was a full city block long outside the building. It took three hours to vote. Three hours spent standing in the rain and wind and cold. Yes, it was a long wait. Yes, I was cold and damp. But the kindness of strangers was amazing. One worker at the community center where I vote kept walking up and down the line passing out free cups of coffee. He had been there since 6 a.m. People from the Move On PAC brought snacks, water and more coffee. One man who had also spent three hours waiting to vote came back with a tent and a propane heater. One senior drove by telling us not to give up, to keep waiting, to vote. Others drove by honking.

We were cold, we were tired of waiting, most of us were hungry despite the chocolate and we certainly wanted a beer. Everyone was also amazingly jolly and committed to the process. We joked around and told stories. As someone who has never had to wait more than 5 minutes to vote at an election before, it was incredible to see the crowd. The poll workers estimated 500 people were standing in line at one time.

There was only one moment of frustration from a man waiting in line who didn't understand why those with last names in the range of A-K got to go ahead of the rest of the line. I didn't exactly get the logic there either, but I was tired of waiting and shivering. So the second time they asked for anyone from A-K I jumped at the chance. My boyfriend, who's an R, wasn't so lucky. I arrived home 30 minutes before he did.

My only fear is that I waited that long and I might still be disappointed in the end result of the presidential election. No, I'm not disappointed that I waited to vote, but it would make it a little sweeter if my guy won. My fingers are still crossed.

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