Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day

The liquor stores are closed.


I'm getting reports that there are already long lines of people waiting to vote here in NYC, and it's only 7:15AM.

Just finished voting.
I voted for Obama on the Working Families Party ticket, and my Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez on the same ticket.  Very liberal, and very pragmatic.
The polling place was the most crowded I've seen since the 1992 election.  Unlike 1992, it went very smoothly and the election officials were all relaxed and friendly.  In 1992, it was chaos, and the poor old election officials and volunteers were swamped.  They had to call the cops to help control the crowds.  Nothing like that this year.  They are apparently prepared for a big turnout here.  In 1992 I had to wait almost 2 hours to vote.  This year, I don't think I had to wait more than 15 minutes.
The crowd was overwhelmingly young, mostly hip 20 somethings.  I was surprised.  The hipsters for all their cool and studied indifference, really want to vote this year.  I was one of the oldsters this year.  New York still uses those ancient voting machines with the switches and the crank.  My parents voted for Eisenhower, Nixon, and Goldwater on those old machines.  As one of the poll workers said, there's no way you can turn a switch for one candidate and another pops up.  They still work well and leave a paper trail.
I also remember that my parents used to dress up to vote.  I certainly did not, nor did I see anyone else of any age dressed up.  And yet, the whole process still retains its majesty.


Just listened to a Bulgarian immigrant calling in on a radio show.  She said that this was the happiest and most important election since she voted back in Bulgaria in 1989.  She said she was as happy to be voting out what she called anti-democratic reactionaries in the Bush administration as she was to be voting out the Communists in Bulgaria in 1989.


Heard on the radio that if Obama wins, Kenya will declare a national holiday tomorrow.


ueber-g said...

Went to my polling place in Jersey City at the usual time (7:15am). I'm usually number 15 or 20. Today I was number 90 and it was only 7:30 when I left. The man behind me had just moved and changed his registration and they didn't have him on the books yet. There was a provisional ballot in his hand before he could blink and one of the poll workers was explaining what he had to do. Nice to see democracy in action.

susan s. said...

I heard that that little town in New Hampshire with 26 residents that vote just at Midnight voted 15 to 11 for OBAMA!!! They've voted republican unanimously for years.

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

A great and happpy day indeed!