We got up early (ish) yesterday morning and all four of us were at the polls just a little after 8 a.m. The lines were long but didn't spill out of the building into the rain, and everyone seemed happy, if a little subdued. One couple was disappointed to discover they would have to separate because of their different last names--they'd only brought one cup of coffee to share.
Luckily they only had to wait about twenty minutes. We all gave our names and got our little tickets, then handed them to the next phalanx of poll workers and got right into the voting booths. Nick went with Mark. We have touch screens in our district (they'll be gone by the next election cycle, though they're not paid for yet) and I touched all the right boxes and made sure that the review screen listed all the people I meant to vote for (we'd heard stories...). We got snazzy big red-white-and blue "I voted" stickers with the presidential seal on them, and headed back out into the rain.
Krispy Kreme was offering free doughnuts so we went there next--the line for the drive-through seemed like it might be longer than the line to vote, so we went in. A short line later: free doughnuts! (Leftover Hallowe'en ones at our location--I had to scrape a lot of black-and-orange sprinkles off mine.)
After a quick stop at home we went to the Obama headquarters, where we'd promised to spend the next four hours. They turned us around to a different location for driving and phone-banking volunteers, where we stood in the longest line of the day, for a good thirty to forty minutes. Cars driving by honked and waved and everyone was in a great mood despite the drizzle. I handed off a bag of snacks to one of the volunteers to take inside to phone-bankers. After a while another volunteer came out and gave us the facts: while we might all eventually get assigned to drive folks to the polls, it could take a while, but they could use canvassers now. We chose canvassing.
Off to another "staging area," an art studio not all that far from home. They sent us to the neighborhood right by the kids' old elementary school, where we knocked on doors and left door hangers for an hour. The few folks we actually reached had already voted and gave us happy thumbs-up signs. We took our clipboard back to the office when we were done and headed home by about 2:30 p.m.
So that was our election day. I baked a pie and did some reading for the next day's teaching, and we went out for a quick dinner then to an election party with friends. We had to leave there by ten since Nick and I had to be up early, but we did manage to stay up (except Nick) to get the results (we won Virginia! Yay!) and see the speeches. I thought McCain was gracious and Obama was appropriately solemn and inspirational. And so we went to bed, knowing that we'd made history.
It's raining again this morning but the fall colors are lighting up the trees anyway. Both kids are sick--happiness hangover or a late-fall bug? I'm off to teach in a bit, because life goes on as normal; it's a new normal, though, one in which we can finally say "President Elect Obama." Sounds good, doesn't it?
Yes, we can!