Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Voting and Community

I voted this morning. There was an atmosphere of excitement at our polling place, and lines around corners and down hallways. It was a great cross-section of humanity. People of different ages, ethnicities, professions, and entertainment choices (it seemed to be a cellphone vs. book line), all coming together to decide possibly THE key election of our time.

This could be a tipping point, I hope, when we turn away from the abyss and choose a different future than the one we're currently headed for at 300 miles an hour.

At the polling place, I stood in line for 45 minutes with my husband and 15 month old son, who only required one biter-biscuit-bribe to be so wonderfully quiet! But had my son NOT been quiet - had he been gripey, ill, whiny, tired, or hungry - my life would have been, in a word, hellish.

In an attitude of gratitude for my son's excellent behavior, I called one of my SAHM friends and offered to babysit for her. She didn't take me up on my offer, but I could tell that she appreciated the thought. So for those of you who have time today, call your SAHM friends and offer to babysit while they run up to the polls for an hour. Heck, if you know enough of (insert your candidate's name here) supporters, you could run a daycare for a few hours and make the difference in your town! :)


Anonymous said...

I live in WA state and vote by absentee ballot, which makes me miss out on both the long lines and the community aspect of voting.

If this nation was serious about voting, about democracy, election day would be a holiday. City buses would charge nothing for rides. And community members would tally votes from paper ballots by hand.

Verde said...

Yea! I guess I'll offer that for my neighbor. (though I can decide if she's voting the *right* way ;~}. KIDDING - kind of .

Hausfrau said...

Verde - Frankly, I wouldn't be kidding! :)

Anon - This is the first time I've voted in person in years... I used to live in Denver and always voted absentee ballot... according to the news today, 46% of CO voters cast their vote early this year!!

Green Assassin Brigade said...

I can't understand the lineups to vote, are more people voting than last time?

Are there not enough polling stations?

System to complex?

Here in Canada over the course of 30 years It's never taken me more than 15 minutes to vote!

I've only used the advanced polls once or twice.

Hausfrau said...

GAB - There is rumored to be a record turnout. We saw our neighbor at the polls, and she said she had never seen anything like it. Usually people just waltz in and vote - no lines at all!

Chile said...

I waltzed in and out. No lines at my polling place at 9 am. News was reporting huge early voter turn-out though, so the polling places may be slow. My husband's going at 4 pm; it'll be interesting to hear if it's crowded then.

thetinfoilhatsociety said...

DH and I went to our little voting precinct at 10am. It was PACKED. I have been voting here at the same precinct for 10 years and I have NEVER seen lines like this. We actually had to wait in line for a short while.

I managed to screw up my first ballot and had to get a second one -- for whatever reason, NONE of the local county Democratic candidates were on the ballot, although the republican names of course were -- so I had to write in every name and color the write in bubble. I got so used to writing in my candidates I didn't realize one of them was actually listed! DH was exasperated because he was done before me.

My 23 year old son is voting for the first time ever. Yes, this election is different. I hope it makes a difference.

I still think that none of the candidates have any kind of a grip on the whole problem of peak oil and how it's affecting the economy. Let's just hope they figure it out -- and soon.

TheCrone said...

Just left you an award for being very inspiring to me. Keep up the amazing work :)

Hausfrau said...

Wow - thanks, Crone! I will go check that out!!

TFHS - I agree with you about the candidates and peak oil, but at least Matt Simmons endorsed Obama. I hope he has a clue, he just hasn't let on yet since it would be incredibly unpopular.

Wendy said...

My girls have always gone to the polls with us ... since they were babies. This year, the youngest went behind the curtain with my husband (who took off work to come and vote with me ;), and the older two voted with me ;). It's a family thing.

There were a lot of people at the polls today (more than I can ever recall seeing), but I usually vote in the evening, and there weren't any lines. We were right in and right out. I guess I'm lucky :).

And Kunstler has endorsed Obama also ;). Let's hope he (Obama) does have a clue about the "real" issues we're going to face in the coming years.

Alison said...

You make a good point. When I went to do my advance vote last week there was a mom with a little boy about 5 years old who came and looked at the line. When she was told that the wait would be 1 hour she just had to walk away because there was no way for her to amuse her son for that length of time. If I'd had a pile of books with me I might have offered to help, but as it is I was really happy to be out of the house for just a little time without my own kids and I just don't think I'd have had the mental energy to amuse a 5 year old any more than the mom would. Since advance voting proved very popular in my area moms probably had a really easy time today. Folks I spoke with who voted today said there were no lines at all in my county.