Friday, November 07, 2008


The election is over. I am thrilled about this for many selfish reasons. This means the robocalls that seemed to come on the hour will stop. The negative ads from both campaigns will finally end on TV and the radio.

It also means I will get Bjorn back. The guy has been volunteering many hours toward the campaign. It's been cool to watch the mechanics of a campaign, but I have missed having him around to play with us. I'll admit though that I've loved meeting all the volunteers who came to Virginia to help in a swing state. Last weekend, I met a nice retired couple from Bakersfield, Calif., who came to Virginia for two weeks to campaign. They were here on their own dime because they cared about the issues and wanted to make a difference. How cool is that? It never occurred to me that people did that kind of stuff. When I get older, I want to take cool vacations like that.

We have also had volunteers come down on weekends all the way from places like Delaware and Connecticut to campaign, not to mention all the locals from D.C. and Maryland who crossed the bridge to try to make a difference. Like their politics or not, that kind of activism is pretty cool.

On election night, I volunteered to be a "poll watcher" at the voting station at my local elementary school. I was there with a nice lawyer from Reston who was there to watch as well. She really knew her stuff, I was just standing there. However I think the other poll workers presumed I had any idea what I was doing. My job was to oversee the process and look out for any monkey business. There was none of that, rather there were probably 15 people who worked all day -- from 5 a.m. until 9 p.m. on election day to make a difference. Clearly, everyone had their own political beliefs, but all they really cared about was doing their job well. That was remarkable to see as well.

Virginia has electronic, touch-screen voting. At the end of the day, they print out the receipts from the machines on these little paper tapes, like receipts. Then they get added up, checked against previous tallies, checked for anything funky, signed off by workers from both parties before finally being officially tallied and posted on the door. My precinct had more than 80 percent voter turnout on Tuesday. Just amazing.

Now that the election is over, I can go back to my previously scheduled life.

1 comment: