Have you voted yet today?

If not, you need to get there! I was at my polling place (at East 79th Street and Euclid Avenue in Cleveland) at 8:30 AM and had to wait about fifteen minutes–not bad, considering the long lines that have been reported at other polling places. (My colleague was in line for an hour and a half.)

The thrilling part of this participation today was that there were a couple of women (I’m guessing in their 30s) who had never voted before. They were so excited and had lots of questions. So I explained to them how to put their punch-card ballot into the machine, that they could ask questions of the poll workers about the mechanics of voters, that if they spoiled their ballot they could ask for another, and that they should make sure not to have any “hanging chads” when they finished. This is what the democratic process is all about–getting voters fired up to exercise their privilege

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Outside the polling place limit there was a group of Democratic party operatives, with their t-shirts and signs announcing voter protections. They were somewhat suspicious of me when I asked to take their picture. They also seemed surprised that this is where I came to vote (as I have for the past several years). I guess the idea of a caucasian person in a largely black neighborhood is still shocking to some. I am myself happy to live in a neighborhood with all kinds of people and and sorts of opinions.

I feel like it may be a very long day and night. Perhaps with the election results not known for quite a while. It’s almost as if I’m incapable of doing other work, being on pins and needles about this election. I’m trying (not successfully) to put all of the “what ifs” about Bush’s re-election out of my mind.

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