I had to fend off Harper’s grabby hands more than once this afternoon, because I’m not sharing this “I Voted” sticker. I love voting. I love election day, actually. As flawed as the whole system is, I think there’s something incredible about being to walk into a church fellowship hall or a school gym and cast my vote. Our process is expensive, inefficient, and not inclined toward graciousness, but it’s the system we’ve got, and I’m grateful that I get to participate.
Rob and I met at our polling place at lunch time and had fruit smoothies in the car before going in to vote together. Maybe it wasn’t the most romantic date we’ve ever been on, but it felt important, somehow.
We didn’t have to wait until today to vote, but I’m glad we did that, too. More possibilities for early voting (which set records here in North Carolina) might mean that more people will be able to vote, but I’m afraid we’ll lose something by moving away from neighborhood polling places. Think about it: what else do you have to do in the place you live? Most of us drive across town to work, to shop, to go to school. But to vote, you have to into a building in your neighborhood, and interact with people who live near you. When I go in to the church where we vote, I always see a neighbor I know, and I love chatting with her there. I also love that voting happens in churches, schools, and community centers; these neighborhood institutions mean something to our communities.
I’m watching the speeches now, as the final results roll in. Election night 2008 was sure more fun than this, but I’m still wearing this sticker proudly.