Tuesday, November 02, 2004


I woke up early this morning, hearing a small roar outside. I guess it was the rain, which has fallen off and on all morning. It's not a hard rain, just cool, continual mists. The sky is spongy gray, and the combination of wet and dark usually acts like a narcotic on me. Not today.

Polls open at 6:00 am in Indiana, and close at 6:00 pm. So if one is to vote and has to go off to work, better to do it in the morning.

We vote at a public golf course clubhouse. Until last year, we voted on old clanky machines. Now we ink in bubbles on a paper ballot and feed it into a reader. The poll worker stared over it as I put it into the reader. Not much secret about voting with this new system.

I was voter number 57 at about 6:50 am. They said that there had been a mini-rush of folk right before we got there. Lots of neighbors voting or running the election. I always try to thank the polling people after I vote.

On NPR this morning, I heard an Ohio election judge say that several election workers had quit this year out of fear of voting site tensions -- they were, he said, mostly elderly.

I hate to think of the election polling site as a battleground -- to fight there is sort of like applauding in church. The fights should end at the invisible line that surrounds the poll. Nobody has a right to fraudulently vote. But American citizens also have a right to cast their ballots in a space of peaceful neutrality. And if the challenges that take place are used as a tool to discourage rightful voters, then such challengers and the people who set them up are truly despicable. But that kind of action has a way of backfiring.

May democracy work today, oh Lord, regardless of who wins or loses.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's a shame that anyone, voter or poll worker, would feel intimidated on this great day. Admittedly (here in rural Georgia where it's almost inevitable that Bush will win :-( ) our polling place was tranquil and friendly. Here's what I wrote my parents:

"My voting was fun - it was at the Wolfskin Volunteer Fire Department house, where I spend time at least a couple of times a month anyway. Saw the deputy sheriff there; he's a volunteer firefighter too, and talked to him awhile while he "guarded" the firehouse. A great guy. I spent some time seducing the old ladies (HA) who run the polling place - they're there year after year after year and no one ever says anything to them after they vote. So we had a long chat. I think voting is a lot of fun, in addition to being important of course."

Now I'm off with partner to spend the evening with a couple of friends of 30 years, for mutual support regardless of what happens.

Best to all.
Wayne (wayne@sparkleberrysprings.com)