So I had planned some sort of inspiring, awesome post about how great it is that my primary vote finally counts for something and I waited in line for 40 minutes to fill out my ballot but that’s okay because democracy rocks and all sorts of power-to-the-people stuff. You know, something like what Frema wrote.
But then my candidate did not win my state, and some of the luster just rubbed right off Election Day.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not sour grapes (okay, maybe a little bit – I haven’t picked a winner in a presidential election since 1996), and I know my little state’s results don’t mean a whole lot empirically. Especially in a world of delegates and, what’s this now, SUPER delegates? And you say they’ve been around since the Eighties? REALLY?
It did feel good to wait in line to vote. Normally, when I go vote before work I’m in and out in less than five minutes. And to have to wait, at 6:15 a.m., for the privilege to cast my ballot, was actually kind of cool. I waited in the gymnasium of an elementary school with a factory worker, a CPA, a stay-at-home-mom, a student and two school teachers. No one complained about waiting. We all commented on the abnormally long lines.
In graduate school, when I was young and idealistic and even more passionate about exercising my civic duty, I wrote my master’s thesis on increasing voter turnout. I rhapsodized about the virtues of mail-in voting (with Oregon as a model) and the future of possibly voting on the Internet. I guess what it really takes to get people out to the polls is a candidate they believe in. Why can’t we have that come around more often?