Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election Day

I don't have any photos or fancy Election Day graphics, but you can find those in a lot of places online today (not to mention some cool artwork, like my friend Jeannine's).

I just want to say this:

I voted this morning.

Actually, I arrived this morning, couldn't find a parking spot, drove home, walked back, waited in line, and ended up voting just after noon.

The last time I voted -- I do my best to vote in each election, even the small ones, because I feel it's important to use your rights or lose them, although I won't vote if I know nothing about the ballot, because that is also irresponsible, and I forgot that I would be in Hawaii during the primaries, so I never ordered an absentee ballot -- the last time I voted, which was for city council races, there were only five other voters in the room. No line.

This morning, I was told, there were 800 people in line when the polls opened. Eight hundred. That's a lot more than five. The earliest voters arrived at 3:20 a.m. Still yesterday in some parts of the country.

You should know that this morning, when the polls opened, it was raining. And it rained until just before I arrived, and then off and on again. Those people waited up to three hours, outside in the rain, to vote in an election that, in our area, only has three things on the ballot: United States president, U.S. Senator and U.S. Representative.

I arrived later, at 10:37, thinking that most people would be at work. I was wrong. I waited for an hour and a half. And every minute felt fantastic.

This is the first time in the 15 years since I turned 18 that voting made me feel elated, instead of mildly curious, or even resigned. And it brought tears to my eyes. Tears of joy. Tears of hope. Tears at the thought that I have the privilege of casting my vote for the leader of my country - nay, leaders, because our Senators and Representatives are leaders, too - when so many people haven't, for so long through history, had the right to pick their own government and to this day still do not have that right.

And when my vote not only affects the future of my country, but the future of the world.

It was an honor to wait in that line.

If only all elections were like this.


Merisi said...

I dare not imagine what so many more voters will mean at the end of the day, I hope it is a good sign. I pray hope. I still know who the people are who run for John Warner's seat (I remember both as governors!), but to my utter dismay I have no idea who's running for the other chamber. Shows that slowly that world is gliding out of my hands, quite sad, actually.

I was over at Catharina's blog, reading your comment (I wonder if it is polite to read other people's comments on other people's blog? I do it routinely), and I "knew" it was you, without having realised that you had not signed on as R.G.! Isn't that strange? Must have to do with that little avatar of yours, my subconscious immediately connected it to you! ;-)

paintandink said...

Hi Merisi!

Mark Warner won... it must be a landslide cause the polls only closed a few minutes ago... I got here in August 2005 just before his term ended, so I didn't really get to know him as governor.

I think it's perfectly acceptable to read other people's comments -- it's all a dialogue, right?

I am slowly trying to change all my internet ID to paintandink. So proud that you recognized me, though ;)

Catharina said...

Wow, it is a good feeling for someone you believe in to win the election. All the waiting in line paid off! I wish I were in the US right now...

The Fab Miss B said...

Amen! This has been a very inspiring day!

Beth Kephart said...

I have been thinking, looking at this beautiful site, that you might like to read a new Justina Chen Headley book called North of Beautiful, which is coming out in February. It's very much about maps and geocache-ing.