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Election Day, 2012. It's Up to Us Now

 

5 AM EST.
I'm up and already nervous about what this election night will bring.  I want the Democrats to win everything.  I want the Republicans to lose in numbers large enough to show them the error of their ways.  I'm so biased that way there's no pretending otherwise.  I know it won't happen, but if I were wishing upon a star it's what I would be wishing for.

I'm an old-style liberal--a dreamer, an optimist, a pie-in-the-sky Pollyanna.  There aren't many of us left, mainly because that kind of nonsense has been knocked out of the more sensible of us.  With me it's still there, and at this late stage I have a feeling it's here to stay.
 

Suffragette Demonstration 1910

 Everybody wants what's best for this country.  We want it healthy, wealthy and wise.  We want the pursuit of happiness to lead somewhere. None of us thinks we're at that point, but at the same time none of us can agree on the direction it will take to get us there.

We tend to want to simplify our problems, laying blame wherever it might easily fit, but in our hearts we know the society we've established for ourselves is so magnificently complicated what we truly understand wouldn't fill a droplet in the middle of our vast oceans.

In addition, fully half of us thinks the other half is nuts.  I'm not such a dreamer that I actually think no matter who wins the presidency, tomorrow is the day we'll all magically come together.   We won't.  Odds are, we never will.  It's not only not likely, it's not even normal.  We thrive on individualism.  It's our one claim to fame.  Or so we would like to believe.
 

Ben Sargent


 I want my side to win, but I want every vote to count.  I want the people of voting age to do their civic duties and get out there and let their voices be heard.  I'm heartened by sights of long lines snaking around buildings, even while I'm furious that people have to be made to stand in long lines for hours in order to vote.

I won't be going to the polls today.  I've already voted, but now that the big day has dawned I'm sorry I jumped the gun.  I miss not climbing the steps of our township hall and filling out my papers and kibitzing with the poll workers.  I want to stand at the table and do my thing behind red, white and blue striped curtains.  I want to stand at that funny little machine and watch as my ballot gets sucked into it, ready to be counted.  I love that.
 


 Because I believe our vote is our right.  It is our privilege. It is our duty.  Anyone who doesn't believe that voting makes a difference hasn't looked around.  Every one of our government leaders got there because they were voted into office.  Think about that.

(Cross-posted at Ramona'sVoices)

Great post, Ramona. Looking forward to Election Day here.

Nothing really comes close, does it?
 

Thanks, Doc.  No, nothing even comes close.  It's a day like no other.  It was thrilling when I was a little girl hanging onto my Dad's hand as he voted, and it's still thrilling.  Terrifying, but thrilling.

Just got back from voting. Got in line a few minutes after 7am and finished voting by 8:30. Not bad for SW FL. I would say about 80% of the line was women many voting before work. It was getting ready to rain so the retirees will be out later after the rain. It is pouring cats and dogs now. My Aunt Mary was a suffergette. She loved telling stories about civil disobedience that she was a part of in her late teens. When they got the vote she was 21 years old and she never missed election after that. The 1956 convention she was helping can beans and the Democratic convention was on our black and white TV. This little 8 year old girl got her first lesson in political history. She explained to me about Strom Thurman and the bunch that was parading around the hall with the band were Dixicrats. Now here I am nearly 60 years later able to.watch his AA cousin Al Sharpton a political pundant and activist on TV. I wonder what she would of thought of that. She took me to registered to vote when I turned 21 and bought me my first cocktail that day. She made me promise to take politics serious and make up my own mind. To always vote even if there was choice between two bastards because the bastard that wins will always have to take the female vote serious. She said if you don't ever bother to vote that some day the bastards will find away to take it away. That is the way she talked and she loved ice hockey and would.throw her slippers at.the TV. I wonder what she would think about today's election. I know she would be proud of the fact that women are voting finally as a block for issues that matter more to them. It has only taken us 80+ years to get there. I know she would be here on the front lines fighting voter suppression. It is tradition in my family. Time to take nap. I have some front line duty to later today. My car is gassed up and ready to go.

Lol, trking, I love your Aunt Mary!  Who wouldn't?  Glad you got to vote without much trouble. 

My daughter lives in the Detroit suburbs and she called a while ago to tell us she went to vote at 9AM and there was only one person in line ahead of her.  Don't know what to make of that.

Ramona,  This must be what it feels like to wait for jury to come in and deliver a verdict.  Scary, to say the least.

Great post and perfect way to start my day, appreciate.

It's funny, but when you describe voting where you live, it sounds just like here.  I will climb the stairs to City Hall, chat with my neighbors who are the poll workers and others who arrive, look over the treats which are usually a vegetable tray, deli tray and various cookies, decline the punch - then walk into the little space, draw the curtain and vote.  After I'm done, I'll go over to the little machine where Frank or one of the others is waiting to watch me put my ballot disappear into the little machine, then I'll be handed a sticker to put on my coat for all to see that I voted.   I'll go to the grocery store and since the owner is an eighty year old Repub, who will no doubt begin his anti-Obama tirade - I'll tell him to quit yelling and shut up, then give him a hug.

I'm sure in small towns, the voting experience is vastly different than in most places.  I prefer ours.  

Have a great day and hopefully I'll 'see' you here tonight.  cheeky

Thanks, Auntie.  Yes, your voter day sounds a lot like mine.  Except ours only has cookies, but they're all home made.  I live in crimson country up here so it's chit-chatting and small talk and hoping nobody starts getting political.  (So far so good in past years)

Your mix-up with the old grocer is a hoot!  I'll be he looks forward to it as much as you do.  (Sounds like a bit out of "Northern Exposure".  LOVED that show.)

I'll be here tonight.  I've already had one anxiety attack.  Or it might have been gas.

For me the act of voting has a kind of secular holy aura to it, or something close to that.  I am unable to vote without a constant awareness of how many people have agitated and protested and fought and died to win this right which so many decline to exercise, or exercise with relatively little thought and care, and which so many around the world do not have.  I feel slightly overwhelmed with how fortunate I am, and with how disempowered so many others aching for a greater voice in their futures, are. 

I will feel a great sense of relief upon the more or less civilized (I fervently hope) completion of today's task.  Not just because we are not going to get right now anything more in the way of difficult but necessary discussions about difficult-to-discuss, highly contentious but critical matters in this country.  But also because there is so much potential for, and actual, mischief, abroad in the land insofar as this process is concerned. 

I am revolted that we are back, in this country, to having a major political party's key strategists and wealthiest supporters working harder and more systematically than they have in at least 50 years to suppress completely legal votes, because they correctly believe they cannot otherwise win in some of these contests. 

And I am sickened that this is not all but universally known among our citizens, and that it has not yet become cause for such near-universal outrage as to produce the utter discrediting of the political party willing to resort to these means to try to win.  Holding such despicable and, yes I'll say it, un-American values should be cause for the greatest shame and humiliation.  May that not ever be who we at root are.     

Amen and bravo, AD.  You bet.  I'm always shocked when voter suppression tactics get more and more creative.  You would think I would take it in stride already, but my parents taught me honesty is the best policy and, silly me, I think everybody's parents did the same.

But for all it's warts, including the electoral college and the gerrymandering of districts, voting is such a precious honor I too tend to believe it should be elevated far beyond the usual dirty tricks.

I'm guessing I might get some negative feedback for this but what pisses me off more is our democratic leaders letting it happen. I don't expect much from spineless democrats but at least they should be able to work up the gumption to protect their own voters and votes.

I agree, Ocean-Kat.  They've spent way too much time being wimps or being oblivious.  Wouldn't you think after 12 years of voter fraud and manipulation it would be way up there on their to-do list?  Makes me angry, too.

Just got back from working a poll shift and then helping our precinct captain close down our polling place.  Here in northern Virginia (suburban DC) one has a choice of using paper ballots or voting electronically.  The majority of those voting chose to do so electronically.

If you vote electronically there is no paper ballot to serve as a backup.  So in the event that a need for a recount is declared, what exactly is it that they will recount?  And what  was going through the minds of the elected officials--or the people they appointed--who made the decisions to do voting in this way?  

I chatted up one of the official election workers while the closing up procedures were going on.  She mentioned to me that many voters declined to vote by paper because they had received misinformation that their vote might not be counted immediately.  There were well-meaning people who were advising people not to vote provisionally.  I asked her if she thought some might have declined to cast a paper ballot because they mistook that with a provisional ballot and she thought that was quite possible.

The final tallies seem reasonable and legit, Obama winning a precinct that was redrawn to become more Republican than it was and evidently pretty close to a tossup, by a narrow margin, and a larger one drawn as much more Democratic by a solid margin.  These results are in the ballpark of what Obama needs in northern Virginia to have a shot at carrying Virginia.  Tim Kaine bettered George Allen narrowly in the more evenly divided precinct.and walloped Allen in the more solidly D precinct.

Turnout was very high--between those voting today and the projected count for those who requested absentee ballots (we were told by an official election worker that roughly 50% of those requesting an absentee ballot end up voting absentee, based on the recent history in this area) around 700 voted out of 900 registered. 

AD, did you notice that prosecutors canceled Colin Small's grand jury testimony to expand the investigation in VA?

I did not--thanks for letting me know.  Our AG is a kook I have zero confidence in.  It's  possible there wasn't enough time to get the necessary information prior to the election. It also seems possible to me that, if there had been enough time to do so, this AG would have made sure it was slow-walked until after the election, after which hardly anyone gives a shit about any of this stuff.

chive on 17 Daily Afternoon Randomness (50 Photos)

I LOVE that guy!

Ramona  -  CNN IS ALREADY RELEASING DATA AND DECLARING.

I thought they couldn't do that until all the polls closed.  What's goin on?

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