Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Dispatches from the polls - Morning at Moody

Moody School, which hosts voting for Districts 4 and 5, was bustling as early as 5:00 AM this morning. At 5:45, when I arrived, there were already 30 people in line waiting to vote. Only one of them had come in past years to vote at the opening of the polls, and she told me that the most she has ever seen at 6:00AM in previous years was two people. Jennifer Mahr, staffing a PTA table groaning with delicious baked goods, said that there was somebody waiting to vote when she arrived at 5:00.
Today, by the time the polls opened, there were 60 people in line. Despite confusion ("which district am I in?"), the people were enthusiastic and cheerful while waiting in line. In the line were people who had followed news of voting lines in other states for early voting and were afraid that later lines would be far worse. There were also many people who had been waiting in desperation to cast a vote for president, some for the first time. One lady told all around her, "It is not success that counts, it is the process of working to overcome adversity that counts. We've got a lot of adversity to overcome in this election."
It took 15 minutes for me to cast my vote, which was the 32nd in my district. As I left, the Moody school parking lot was completely full, and the line was getting longer and longer.

At 8:30 the long lines had dissipated, replaced by a steady stream of voters. The early voters included not only people who had to be at work early, but also those worried that later lines would be even worse. Those fears seem so far to be unfounded, and voting was proceeding very smoothly at Moody School.

Matt Lesser had 4 volunteers encouraging voters to vote for him, and Ralph Capenera also had a campaigner present.
The campaign workers were stunned when I told them how many voters they had missed by arriving late at Moody.

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