Friday, November 05, 2004

I have sort of been avoiding the news for the past few days. I am just so overloaded from the lead-up to the election that I am having a hard time watching news. I scan the newspaper a bit, but that's about it.

I could go on and on with my thoughts about the election, but I'm sure it's nothing that hasn't been said more eloquently by others, and I'm just not in the mood. Instead I will describe some of the positive things that happened while I was working to get out the vote on election day.

1. Early in the morning a man and woman pulled up in a car. They got out of the car and approached me. The man showed me the address of his polling place, and asked if he was in the right place. I said that no, his polling place was a few blocks away, and I gave him directions on how to get there. They were Muslim, and apparently immigrants. He had this huge ear-to-ear grin on his face and said, "This is my first time voting!" His wife was smiling, too. They were so happy to be able to vote in their adopted country. As unhappy as I am with the outcome of the election and the direction in which this country is moving, I look at that couple and think about all the the great things there are here.

2. I was really encouraged by the number of people I saw entering polling places with their children in tow. I could understand if the children were really young, but many of the kids I saw were old enough to stay home while mom and dad go vote. Middle school and junior high age. I would imagine that seeing their parents vote will instill the importance of voting in these children. I used to go with my mom to vote when I was a child, and I thought it was so fascinating.

3. On the street next to the polling place were some of those concrete planters that you sometimes see on wide city sidewalks. A woman went to vote with her 3 sons. When they came out, the mom sat on the planter and held up her voter's registration card and voting receipt while her son snapped a picture. I imagine it was her first time voting, and they were taking a picture for posterity.

4. I was invited to my ward's victory party after the polls closed. The term "victory party" sounds so odd to me, but I have to remember that all of the other candidates that I supported actually won. Anyway, I didn't really know any other volunteers. I get very nervous in social situations where I don't know anybody. While I was in line for food an older gentleman started a conversation with me. I ended up sitting at a table with him along with another guy closer to my age. They both told me I was nice, and the older gentleman told me I was a good conversationalist. That made me feel good. I had a nice time, but only used one of my two drink tickets because I was exhausted and wanted to go home.

5. Barack Obama.