Election Diary: Win or Lose, a Historic Day for Us All
Once inside, we found our sign in table and signed our names. My daughter went first. I watched with a weird mix of emotions as she closed the curtain to the voting booth; the wistfulness that comes with seeing your child do something so grown up, and pride, because of how proud she was to cast her vote.
Reading through my Twitter updates, it looks as if there are similar lines in just about every state. Some polling places have a wait of 30 minutes, some seven hours.
What's important is that people are waiting. The media keeps calling this an "historic election" and really, every election is historic. This one is different in the way it can -- rather, it will -- make history; either the first black president or first female vice-president will be elected.
It's different because it was the first time that the speed in which ideas were circulated and momentum gathered in campaigning makes the whole election cycle an interactive, rather than passive process for the voters. There was a passion among the people gathered on line with me that I have never felt before. That's what makes this one different and, to an extent, historic.
When we stepped outside after voting, I asked my daughter how it felt. She said "I thought my vote would feel insignificant. It doesn't. I feel so good about my choice and that makes it significant."
That's part of what makes this day great. No matter who you are voting for, whether your candidate wins or loses, if you are in a swing state or not: we are all part of the process.
Our vote means something, if not to the final tally, then to us, personally. We can make our personal political statement in a private, yet profound way. To watch my child be a part of that process is an overwhelming feeling. To stand in a long line outside a school with fellow citizens eagerly waiting to be a part of that process is to witness the most significant aspect of democracy in action.
Before heading out to local polling places to get a feel for what's going on today to report on PJM, I checked out Twitter to get a feel for what's going on in other places and see if that palpable air of excitement is everywhere else, too. It seems it is, as both McCain and Obama supporters,