So upon hearing about long lines at the early voting locations and knowing that our day-of location was just a block up the street, we figured we’d just wait and vote on election day. It feels more “real” somehow if you do that – like not opening your presents before Christmas? So I waited ’til Barry got off work at 3, since that was supposed to be an “off” time, too. We walk over, in our shorts and T-shirts (maybe we shoulda noticed it was a little nippy out? But I didn’t think we’d be out in it that long) and as we’re walking up I’m like, “at least the line’s not around the block.” Coz I was looking at the wrong block.
Honestly, my first thought upon seeing a line that looked to be at least 2 hours long was, “screw this, my vote isn’t that important.” And of course I immediately chastised the voice that said that. Because one of the many e-mails that’s gone out this election season was this one. Get past the crummy web design aesthetics and you’ve got a powerful reminder that voting is a privilege. So we went back to the house, put on jeans and sweatshirts (it was like, 65 degrees!) and walked back to wait in line. I even bought a hot dog. Because, you know, this is America, and if there is a hot dog for sale you should buy it, especially whilst waiting to vote.
An hour and a half later we were done and headed back home to watch the election returns. My favorite line of the night? Florida’s Secretary of State, on how things are compared to 2000. “It’s going much better this year.” The last time I voted in Florida was 2000, and long lines aside, I have to agree. The only thing I regret was keeping the TV on the local news all night (turned it on because the cameras were all outside our polling place). So at 11 p.m. we go from the local anchors saying “we hear AP has just declared Florida for Obama” very uncertainly and still waiting for results from Virginia and Indiana, to the Obama victory celebration in Chicago. WTF? Guess all the West Coast returns came in and bam! there it was. Kinda took a little fun out of it, the suspense of watching the numbers. And we didn’t even stay up to watch Obama’s speech because we knew we could catch it online today (which I still haven’t done.). Ah, the Internet. Allowing people to go to bed early on election night since 2008.
And that there is my blog post on voting and patriotism and civic duty and hot dogs. God bless America.