Tuesday, November 04, 2008

And we're going to take this country back for the people who built it.

"Our challenge today is not to re-hash what has happened, but to look forward, to make the Democratic Party a 50-state party again, and, most importantly, to win." - Howard Dean, December 2004. I encourage you to click and and read the whole speach, AFTER you vote!


It's not that the line was long, it wasn't (but certainly the longest I've gotten into to vote); and of course, the variety of folks in line was, as usual, quite diverse; but I'd never seen such organization at my polling place. As the young Hispanic man looked at my voting postcard and saw my ED and began to move me up into the right line, he grabbed one of the "hoodlums" from my neighborhood to follow, but we were stopped as another election worker called this guy to help an elderly black woman. She explained how she is registered in Harlem, but not sure where, and looked quite worried about what to do. They patiently explained that they would look up her polling place, and that she would probably be filling out a paper ballot, and he took her hand and led her, and us, inside. Just as he was about to point to the table I should wait at, he noticed my cap, and asked me to take it off. (I was fairly confident that in NY I didn't have to, but I was in no mood to argue). I stood in line and fought back tears, hoping I could put that off til I was inside the booth. Waiting there, I turned to look at the extremely busy room, and my neighbor, the "hoodlum" was in line behind me. (I call him that with affection, as I know his face from the 15 years I've lived here, seeing him as a kid, and turn into a noisy, rowdy teenager, with the car radio blaring, and public fights with his buddies late into the night...) So, as I turn, I see the biggest smile on his face, as he nods recognition at me, the first time in 15 years he acknowledged my existence. He was practically giddy as they gave him a paper ballot to fill out, closely paying attention as he got his instructions on what to do. My eyes are welled up, but surprisingly, once in the booth, there was just this calmness as I pulled the lever, and remembered the camera.... I still can't believe this day!