Monday, November 3, 2008

"I Love This Day!"

Well ... the day before works, too.

This past Saturday, after spending the better part of the morning down at a Vietnamese community event downtown, I headed to do some grocery shopping and ran into a friend.

"You vote yet?" she asked.

I told her I was planning on doing it the regular way, on November 4. "I've never voted here before and I want to take it all in," I told her. "You know, get a taste for the way they do it in Missouri."

"Well," she laughed. "Good luck with that."

Ten minutes and five horror stories later, she convinced me to try a different approach. Especially with the 2008 "unknown factors." I love, I mean I love that there is talk of an 80% turnout rate this year. (I'm praying for that, but it would truly shock me) But, having said that, I really didn't want to deal with an 8-hour line, so ...

Will 3 Hours Do?
- Angry? No way. And the best thing is, I don't think there was one angry person in the lot. And I'm talking hundreds of people in the Plaza Library basement - one of four or five Kansas City absentee ballot locations.

This was such a joy today. Meeting people, I've learned over the years, is my absolute pass-time, so Election Day (or the day before Election Day) was, once again, right up my alley.

When I first arrived at the library, I wasn't surprised to see over 200 folks already lining the basement hallway. I started an informal poll, asking a few people how long they'd already been there - doing my best to gauge how long it was going to take. Honestly, it didn't matter what they told me, I was there to stay anyway, already armed with about 10 hours-worth of interviews to edit. (btw - I'm heading down the home-stretch, folks. And I'm excited about it)

I Stayed - I Visited -I Voted - As soon as I took my place at the end of the line, I met the most wonderful, warm woman. Little did I know at the time, that I'd be talking with this woman for the next three hours - every minute of it interesting, by the way. Of course, this always help time flow by, which it did. We talked about all kinds of things, including the election - (which we did very quietly, so as to not upset the election workers or other voters - the last thing I needed was a riot) The woman's name was Clara, a 50-60'ish? African-American woman, who was there with her husband. As great as my time with Clara was, I have to say, the entire group of folks, all kinds of people from all different races, ages ... you name it - they were great.

I wanted to make sure to get something about this experience in this blog. I have a feeling something incredible is going to happen tomorrow. I really do.

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