Tuesday, November 04, 2008

First Tuesday in November...

I did it. I popped right out of bed at 5:10 this morning ready to cast my ballot for President. The first thing I heard was the pounding of raindrops. This was going to be fun. I woke Zack up and gave him the option of coming with me, hoping that he'd rather stay in bed. I figured he might be difficult to entertain especially when he told me that his Nintendo DS battery was dead. He hopped out of bed and was in good spirits so we grabbed two umbrellas and made a quick stop at WaWa for coffee and a donut. We got to our polling place and immediately noticed the long line of umbrellas wrapped around the school it was only 5:40.

Surely some of these people had been here longer than an hour. We later found out that the first were in line at 4:30. When the doors opened they were in and out in a flash.

When we got to the head of the outside line, the volunteer at the door, a large African American woman, grabbed Zack in a big bear hug and asked him if he was voting. He was shocked but got a kick out of her enthusiasm. I stood chatting with her for a few minutes. She told me that the workers today were not volunteers, they were paid $150 for their work. They had to stay from the opening of polling to the closing, not matter how long it took they were committed to the duration. I assumed they'd have them in shifts but she said that they're too afraid that the next shift wouldn't show so they have people commit AT LEAST 13 hours. I'm guessing it's a lot more than that once all is said and done. I thanked her for being there today.

We next got in line for our section of the alphabet. Of course, this was the longest line. People who were far behind us outside were now WAY ahead of us and even voting already. This was the longest part of our wait but people were jovial and chit chatty and just generally nice. No one discussed who they were voting for. No one had on any campaign affiliated attire. It was as though we were all just gathering to stand in line and drink coffee. I did have some time to contemplate how sad I am that Obama's grandmother died yesterday. She was ill so I hope that she got to cast an early ballot sometime in the previous weeks. Perhaps she died happy knowing that she had done that, voted for her grandson for President. How often does one get to do that in life?

Once we received our swipe card we got in ANOTHER line but this one was quickly moving. Zack was reminded several times not to touch the voting machines which he promised not to do. When I got to the machine I quickly showed Zack what I was doing and read the ballot with him. When we got to the third page and "cast ballot" he and I looked at each other and winked. I pressed the button and we high fived. Several people waiting in line laughed with us. We walked out at 7am. One and a half hours wasn't so bad.

I really enjoyed showing my son how the process works and hope to teach him a life-time appreciation of the right to vote and what that means. He was interested in the process and wasn't his usual self that hates to wait.

I'm wearing my "I Voted 2008 Presidential Election" sticker proudly today! I hope you go get yours!


  1. Amanda! That's a great story! I remember being terrified to vote when I was finally old enough because I had no idea what to do. You're a great mom!

    I'm wearing my sticker!

  2. How great for you and Zack! I took Garrett early this morning too, but he thought we were going to a "boat" not to vote. I think he was a little disappointed. Ha!


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