Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Dixville Notch goes to Obama

That's me up there. Nice, right?

Today, I offer a quick recap of the New Hampshire voting experience.

I walked into the Rec Center at 9:11 a.m.

A woman asked if I was registered to vote in Ward 2, because in New Hampshire, you can register the day of the election, and she was prepared to help me with that if necessary. But I was already registered. "Good girl," she said, and I was both amused and weirdly proud that this stranger was proud of me.

I stood in line behind two people, because a lot of people have names that end with R-Z. There were no lines at any other letters.

The woman behind the table asked if I was who I say I am, and asked if the address they had was correct. She did not ask for any I.D., which is good because my temporary driver's license looks like I made it on a mimeo machine.

She handed me a ballot.

I took it into a little booth and voted, using a Scan-tron sheet and a felt-tip pen.

When I read back over my votes, just checking, I looked at my vote for president, and my eyes misted a little. This is unsurprising, since I cry a lot and am easily moved. I did not have a similar reaction to checking my vote for sheriff.

I attempted to feed my ballot into the scanning machine, and it was rejected. Then the cheery little man staffing the machine attempted to do it, and it was rejected. Several times. I was getting nervous, but about the tenth time he tried it, it worked. We chuckled together, and he gave me a sticker.

"Take two," he said, and then froze. I do not know why those stickers are sacred, but that man and I both know that they are, and that it would be very bad for me to actually take two of them. "You didn't vote twice," he reassured me, and I laughed.

I left the Rec Center at 9:16 a.m., but only because I did not stop at the ginormous bake sale on my way out.

(About the title of this post)


Jennifer said...

A mimeo machine...ah that smell is so evocative of grammar school! I see one of those sheets and get that 'pop quiz!' feeling.

Congrats on an easy voting experience. I'll be voting tonight, since there was a line to get in to the parking lot when I drove by the polling place this morning! I have a book, comfortable shoes and have allotted 2 hours to standing in line this evening - hopefully that's enough.

Cousin Mouse said...

Yeah, what's this with the bake sales at polling stations? Mighty suspicious!

Joe said...

CMC, I wasn't sure if there would be a follow-up post today regarding last night's events. . .but if not, here goes:

On a basic level, this election says a lot about how far the country has come. . .and that has to make you feel proud as an American, at the very least. I voted for Obama, and I wish him all the luck in the world, because he is entering an overwhelming situation right now. I also liked what this columnist said in the Post today:

‘Since the Nixon era, conservatives have claimed to speak for the “silent majority.” Obama represents the future majority. It is the majority of a dynamic country increasingly at ease with its diversity. It reflects the forward-looking optimism of the young. It draws in new suburban and exurban voters whose priorities are resolutely practical — jobs, schools and transportation — and who dislike angry quarrels about gay marriage, abortion and religious orthodoxy.

It is the majority of a culturally moderate nation that warmed to Obama’s talk of the importance of active fathers, strong families and personal responsibility. He emphasized reducing abortion, not banning it. He honored faith’s role in public life but rejected the marginalization of religious minorities and nonbelievers. For large parts of the world, his middle name will be an icon, proof of America’s commitment to religious pluralism.

And Obama not only broke the ultimate racial barrier, he also spoke about race as no other politician ever has. He was uniquely able to see the question from both sides of the color line even as he embraced his black identity. He is not post-racial. He is multiracial. The word defines him as a person. It also describes the broad coalition that he built and the country he will lead.’

along said...

I agree with Joe the Goosebump Giver (and aggregator).

I exercised my right to vote in the community center behind my house where I go to exercise on crappy ellipticals when I don't feel like running into anyone at the gym and can watch (and talk back to) America's Next Top Model without the scorn of Beltway gym rates.

Unlike those trips, yesterday's moves were not of the going around in circles and getting nowhere type. And the votes went to the model for the next America.

Lisa Clarke said...

I got misty when I voted, too. That's never happened to me before. But then, I don't think I've ever really cared so much about the outcome before!

ToddP said...

How different my life is now. Once upon a time I actively avoided politics. This year, on election night, I sat up with 10 kids, huddled around a small laptop computer screen (we don't have TV) watching the results roll in. Some day they will understand what they were watching happen and be glad I let them stay up the extra two and a half hours past their bedtime.

My small-town voting experience was similar to yours. I was second in line when I arrived. No one ID'd me.