It's a Beautiful Day - Share your voting stories here

Everyone has a story, and here's mine.

I got to the polling place right around 8 AM... I was running a little late, but the line to the Ballantine VFW in Uptown, Minneapolis was two blocks long already.

Everyone in line was quiet, contemplative.  The sky was clear and blue, the sun warm on our faces as I... or rather we... reflected on where we had been as a nation, and where we were going.  

I closed my eyes and let myself go for a minute, basking in the  sunlight, wishing for a nap after this huge drain on my emotions, energy, and free time (during the primaries I was spending at least 2 hours a night on my favorite message board just catching up to all the day's political details).  When I opened my eyes, the line had moved up ten feet, but nobody behind me had said a word or even gotten agitated about it.

Nobody talked about the election.  I discussed why these things were held on Tuesday with the gal behind me (you couldn't really travel or vote on the Sabbath in the old days, you needed a day to get to the polling place by foot or wagon), but that was the extent of it.

I re-registered under my new address (I'd moved down the block to a better apartment); it was no trouble at all with Minnesota's exceptionally liberal registration laws... all you need to register on election day is a valid ID and a utilities bill.  The election judge wanted me to open my cell phone bill (which had just arrived) so she could check the due date (it just has to be due within a month of the election).  I joked that, if this weren't my bill, I'd be committing mail fraud by opening it.  She responded that I'd also be committing registration and election fraud, so that would be the least of our worries.  I said, "Just call me ACORN," and we both got a good laugh out of it.  Voter fraud here is largely nonexistant.

I got to work a little before 11 AM; my "I voted" sticker fell off while I was riding my bike... probably because it's so warm for a fall day in Minnesota; I was sweating under my jacket.  Looks like I won't be getting that free burrito from Chipolte'; ah well. :)

Tonight I'm going to head over to the Crowne Plaza hotel in St. Paul to join the Obama staffers I got to know while volunteering at the DFL victory party.  What can I say?  When cute college girls invite a schmoe like me to ANY party, you say "yes."

I think it's going to be a beautiful night to match this beautiful day.

Now I want to hear your voting stories.

Tags: democracy, personal stories, voting (all tags)




Again.  Beaten by Beeton.  Wanna talk about what just happened?  ;)

by fogiv 2008-11-04 08:58AM | 0 recs
I'm cool with it

I can play it down to great minds thinking alike.

It's still a beautiful day. :)

by Dracomicron 2008-11-04 09:06AM | 0 recs
Re: I'm cool with it

Indeed, it is.  Today, we make history.

by fogiv 2008-11-04 09:09AM | 0 recs

I am feelin good

did a straight democratic vote here in PA  

hey guys drinks on me  tonite  

Fingers crossed  

by wellinformed 2008-11-04 09:10AM | 0 recs
I have a strategy.

I voted full Democratic, but those nonpartisan judges and city officials always give me trouble.

Here's my strategy:

1. If there is a woman running, vote for her.
  1. If it's all men or all women, vote for the one with the coolest name, on the theory that, if they make news, you will remember them and be able to judge them better for next time. This is how I voted Amy Klobuchar for Hennepin County Attorney in 1998; on the basis that her last name sounds awesome if you add "The Reaver" or "The Destroyer" to it. We call her Senator Klobuchar the Reaver now.
  2. If they're running unopposed, write someone in and then vote for or against them based on how much you'd like to see them in the position. EXAMPLES: I wrote my own name in the Fifth District Court judgeship, because it would be a sweet gig to have (damn you, incumbant Nancy D. Kastellic!), but I voted for Dan Carlson over Ralph Nader as First Circuit Court judge. Dan's more qualified.

by Dracomicron 2008-11-04 09:20AM | 0 recs
I voted republican last year

this year I voted green. Figure Doyle needs a challenge, eventually.

Pity Desantis didn't win, love to pin the transit strike on him!

by RisingTide 2008-11-04 10:13AM | 0 recs
Re: It's a Beautiful Day - Share your voting story

It's a beautiful sunny day in Southern California We took our daughter with us to the polls at about 10:15 and there was no line. On our way out, we ran into a neighbor/fellow preschool parent walking in with her daughter. It felt like a real family-oriented, neighborhood activity -- just the way voting should be!

by LakersFan 2008-11-04 09:55AM | 0 recs
Is it raining ANYWHERE?

Every report is that it's unseasonably warm and sunny.

This is getting a bit strange.  I'm cautiously optimistic. :)

by Dracomicron 2008-11-04 10:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Is it raining ANYWHERE?

I don't think so. It rained here last night (and we get very little rain ever), but it was beautiful by morning. Perfect voting weather!

by LakersFan 2008-11-04 10:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Is it raining ANYWHERE?

Virginia - Farmville/Pamplin/Darlington Heights/Appomattox, drizzle.

Doesn't a free Starbucks coffee sound good right about now?  Can't get one unless you vote.

by mydailydrunk 2008-11-04 10:30AM | 0 recs
Ah, figured.

Virginia, where all eyes are on the polling places, of course it's raining there.

Keep heart, and a sharp eye: things will turn out.

by Dracomicron 2008-11-04 11:08AM | 0 recs
Re: It's a Beautiful Day

I voted last week.  

It was so anticlimactic, I wish I could get a do over.  I bawled during the primaries when I saw "Barack Obama" pop up on my receipt.  

My husband waited until this afternoon.  When I got home from work, we pulled the kids out of school and took them to the polls.  Again, anticlimactic.

Then I got home and heard the song, "It's a Beautiful Day" and broke down like a blubbering idiot.

A beautiful day indeed.

by asherrem 2008-11-04 10:08AM | 0 recs
Re: It's a Beautiful Day

There was a guy driving around our polling place with a "Yes on [whatever the environmental proposition on the ballot was]" sign strapped to his pickup truck playing that song from loudspeakers.  I just smiled and closed my eyes.  The sun was so warm that I wanted to float away.

by Dracomicron 2008-11-04 10:15AM | 0 recs
Re: It's a Beautiful Day


That really beats the polka music blaring from the Republicanmobile.

You know you're in Wisconsin when...'re driving to work listening to WPR and can't hear Joy over the Beer Barrel Polka.

by asherrem 2008-11-04 10:24AM | 0 recs
Re: It's a Beautiful Day

That's why I can't bring myself to vote early or by mail. I love the excitement of going to the polls. And I really like bringing my daughter with me. We all get to go home wearing our "I Voted" stickers.

by LakersFan 2008-11-04 10:25AM | 0 recs
Re: It's a Beautiful Day

I know...I could really kick myself for it.

I uh, have to admit I drank the "vote early" kool-aid.

But I DO have my sticker!  When my husband went, the kids and I all got one :)  My five year old son put it on his shirt and said, "When I get back to school, I'm gonna tell all my friends I voted for Verock Rabama!"

by asherrem 2008-11-04 10:30AM | 0 recs
Youth voting

They even have a seperate box for kids' votes at my polling place, which always gives me a chuckle.

by Dracomicron 2008-11-04 11:14AM | 0 recs
Re: Youth voting

How fun. I want one of those! Although it might be problematic. We were worried our 3-year old might yell "Barack Obama is on the good team" and get us kicked out of the polling place for "electioneering".

by LakersFan 2008-11-04 11:26AM | 0 recs
The dastardly plan is revealed

The right wingers forced Obama to be so attractive to kids so that they'd yell partisan stuff and get their parents thrown out of polling sites.

Your voter suppression efforts cannot hide!

by Dracomicron 2008-11-04 11:35AM | 0 recs
Re: The dastardly plan is revealed

That would be a dastardly plan, but in all honesty, it's all our fault. We've thoroughly indoctrinated her in Democratic party politics.

She also says, "Sarah Palin is mean. She spits on us. And kicks us." I really don't know where she picked up that terminology, but I'm not arguing with her either.

by LakersFan 2008-11-04 12:20PM | 0 recs

From the mouths of babes, I guess.

by Dracomicron 2008-11-04 12:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Wow

When your 3 year old says something like that, all you can say is, "I have taught you well grasshopper."

by LakersFan 2008-11-04 12:49PM | 0 recs

I don't know why things were so muted at my VFW polling place.  I guess everyone in my neighborhood is prObama; we all know the significance and talking about it would be pointless.

I volunteered for a half hour or so last night; more importantly, I dropped off Pringles, Cheerios, Cherry Coke, and popcorn for the folks that were there phonebanking for the long haul.

by Dracomicron 2008-11-04 10:10AM | 0 recs
I don't buy the racial thing anyway

Yes, black folks are proud to vote for one of their own, but they wouldn't vote for him if he weren't qualified.  If it worked like that, Alan Keyes would've been president at some point.

I talked to a security guard at my work who wasn't sure who she was going to vote for (she's pro-life), but was surprised that I didn't assume that she was for Obama because she was black.

That'd be stupid.  She has just as much right to a position based on the issues as anybody.  I just gave her reading on why pro-lifers should for Obama.  I hope she did the research.

by Dracomicron 2008-11-04 11:13AM | 0 recs
VA-05 Darlington Heights

Raining, drove my father-in-law (he has COPD) to the polling station, said "hi" to my wife who was working as an election official, in 'n out in 3 minutes.

Tipjar for Jennifer (wife) who berated said father-in-law to get his ass out of bed and do the right fucking thing (he wasn't 'feeling well').

THERE'S NO FUCKING EXCUSE not to vote.  You've waited 8 years for this chance to set things right - so if you haven't - VOTE!  If you have, make sure everyone in the address book of your phone has.

I've received 3 calls today from Obama/Warner/Perriello campaigns to make sure I knew where to vote.  Atta boy, that's how you put the pedal to the metal.

Now that you've voted, go get your free coffee at Starbucks.

by mydailydrunk 2008-11-04 10:25AM | 0 recs
Re: VA-05 Darlington Heights

THERE'S NO FUCKING EXCUSE not to vote.  You've waited 8 years for this chance to set things right - so if you haven't - VOTE!

Amen to that.

by Dracomicron 2008-11-04 11:15AM | 0 recs
Here in DC

I live in a predominantly African American precinct in Washington, D.C.  My plan today was to go to work in the morning, get lunch, and come home to cast my ballot.  On my way to work, I drove past my polling place just to see how it was going.  The line at 9:00 in the morning stretched out of the building and down the street.  I imagine there must have been more than a hundred people waiting on the sidewalk.

I got to my polling place to exercise my own franchise at 1:00.  Getting in the building wasn't hard at that hour, but there were probably 60 people in the room.  A lot of them, a lot of them were very, very young, 18, 19, 20.  It was clear that many people were casting the first ballots of their lives.

Now I am home waiting to hear what happens.

by Beltway Dem 2008-11-04 10:39AM | 0 recs
I couldn't be alone for this

Not this year, not this time.  I gotta be around people when the results come in.

by Dracomicron 2008-11-04 11:16AM | 0 recs
I am

invited to 4 different gatherings and know of many more. I want to go to them ALL!

by kevin22262 2008-11-04 12:28PM | 0 recs
At my poll

in Tacoma, WA.

I waited in an hour long line.
The room for signing in and voting was hot and stuffy, the lead poll worker would NOT open a window.
Strangers talked to strangers.
Most people did not mention candidates but you knew... yes you knew who was voting for whom. The Obama supporters were excited and happy!
I met a young 18 year old girl, she looked 14, she was there to vote for her first time and was excited to do so!

I am having a really hard time concentrating at work and holding back the tears and smiles of all the emotions running through me! I may just take off for the day.

I normally take election day off and I should have done it today! DAMN IT! I could be helping out and shring in the emotions of so many others! I am really a little pissed at myself right now fo sitting here and not being THERE!

I want to THANK Everyone that I have ever had a friendly or not so friendly conversation/fight with!

It is because of people like YOU that I stay strong and confident in what I know is right and good!

Thanks to ALL of you!

by kevin22262 2008-11-04 12:27PM | 0 recs
I have 12 minutes left

I have been nigh useless at work today, I'll admit.

Honestly, this didn't work out the way that Rush Limbaugh had hoped, with Democrats attacking each other and deep division among liberals.

Shucks, I tell you. Shucks.

by Dracomicron 2008-11-04 12:49PM | 0 recs
I have a couple of problems tho

I have rush hour traffic and no access to all of you people while I am on the road!

Sometimes I wish I could HEAR the blogs as I drive.  :)

by kevin22262 2008-11-04 01:22PM | 0 recs
I voted in Brooklyn NY

It took about 2 hours because the ONE machine in my district broke.

It felt great to vote for Obama... but I'd be totally lying if I didn't admit to feeling very bittersweet today. Being at PS 17 today reminded me of the last time I was there... casting my proud vote for Hillary Clinton in the primary.

I can't help thinking... today could have been the day an incredible, accomplished, brilliant, inspiring, progressive Woman was elected President of the US.

Oh well... thanks for reading my cathartic confession!

Onward... my husband and I have champagne ready.

by twinmom 2008-11-04 12:54PM | 0 recs
It's gonna happen.

I don't think anyone's going to care about race or gender after President Obama.

Your change is coming, I guarantee it.

by Dracomicron 2008-11-04 06:42PM | 0 recs
Re: It's a Beautiful Day - Share your voting

I live in a village of just over 300 folks in western Wisconsin. There are about 175 registered voters here. I went in to vote at 10 a.m.

By the time I had walked the 20 feet from the door to the sign-in table (past the table set aside to register new voters on-site, and the table with a sample ballot for review, and three long tables with chairs where in-a-hurry, overflow voters could vote if they chose),both of the poll workers had written my name on the 23rd line of the voting check-in list.

My name on the registration list is Tom [Last Name], while on my driver's license it is Thomas S. [Last Name]. This was no problem. Had our state Attorney General had his way, I might have been challenged and had to file a provisional ballot. Or been turned away entirely. Even though all of the poll workers, and the village clerk, know me very, very well.

So clearly the big voter shenanigans problem in this election was the evil ACORN. ;-)

There was one touch-screen machine (with a paper record; we are not savages); one optical scanner; two booths for folks to fill out a paper ballot for the scanner to read; and a stack of paper ballots that must have comprised at least 250 sheets.

Interestingly, when I voted, only about 10% of folks had voted on the paper ballots. This meant that our county was no-shit serious about making sure everyone who wanted to vote could vote, even if both the touch-screen machine and the scanner broke down.

It took me about 10 minutes to vote. I spent eight of those minutes chatting with my neighbors about voting issues in other places, and how proud I was to live in a county and a village in which only those eligible to vote could vote; and those eligible to vote could do so without paying the 'poll tax' of hours in line.  

I love Wisconsin. We have again shown how to run a state on true progressive principles.

Finally, I am 60 years old. I remember the Civil Rights movement. I remember being unsure about whether Martin Luther King, Jr., was pushing too hard. I remember the dogs and the fire hoses and the beatings and the lynchings and the murders of civil rights workers and little girls in a church and King and Malcolm X and so many more. I remember the poll tax and the literacy test and an openly racist southern Democratic party. I was in a burned-out area of Chicago during the riots after King's murder, helping the American Friend's Service Committee give groceries and blankets and diapers to people whose houses had been destroyed, and sleeping in the basement of a black church, having been told to stay away from the windows to avoid becoming the target of snipers. I remember not being able to sing "We shall overcome" during a memorial service for King in the open air at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, because I was so choked up.

Last night, I was again choked up. For a long time, I couldn't have spoken had anyone called me then. But the reason for my silence was different.

Different and blessedly better.

Alleluia. Praise the Lord.


by tsmac 2008-11-05 07:04AM | 0 recs
Thanks, Dad.

We pulled it off, and everyone played a part.  I cannot forget everything your generation did to make all this possible, even while understanding that there's still a lot of work to be done.

by Dracomicron 2008-11-10 05:05AM | 0 recs


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