Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Adventures At Hillside Church

My polling place was busier than I've ever seen it (which is to say, there were about a dozen people voting). As I got out of the car I observed an African American woman being videotaped by her sons, maybe 10 and 12 years old, dancing her way to the door with her ballot. I congratulated all of them for being there that day, for her bringing the boys and for the boys coming along. The woman asked, "Do you have something to say?" and her son swung the camera toward me. I approached while repeating my speech about how it's our number one duty as citizens to vote, that Election Day is much more important than July 4th. I said I was glad that she was showing them how to vote and told the boys I was glad that they were with her. She said she was taking them to school late because this was so important.

Inside, I stood in line in front of a Latino man who was voting for the first time; he'd become a citizen three years ago. I congratulated him and shook his hand, welcoming him to our most important job as citizens. Broken record? It's what I believe. We chatted a bit about the arguing - he said there's been a lot of arguing in his household as everyone has strong opinions. He mentioned his wife was angry at him for his position on 4 (which he didn't tell me, and rightly so). We agreed that we are disappointed with the lack of dialogue we've had this election season.

When I came out of the church, there was another African American woman out front, maybe waiting for someone. We both remarked on the high turnout. I crossed my fingers and said, "I hope my sides win." She said, "Is it this one? My friend just sent me this" and played a piece on her cell phone of "The next President of the United States - Obama! Obama! Obama!" I thought to myself that she had made a pretty big assumption about me (but thank goodness it was correct), and responded, "I hope so!" Then, getting into the car, I called, "Yes we can!" She said the same to me, dancing with her phone.

It was a good way to start Election Day!

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