Skip to main content

My husband, grandson and I voted Monday evening at the library in our little town of about 750 people in western North Carolina. Grandson got to register and vote at the same time, turned 18 in May. He registered Independent - probably so he could be the 'rebel' in our household - but his heart's in the right place.

One of the reasons we voted Monday instead of Tuesday (when the library's One-Stop will be open until 9 instead of 5) is because of what happened to Obama supporters in Fayetteville on Sunday. Not only were McCain/Palin supporters stationed to shout epithets and harass the long voting lines after Obama's speech, but about 30 of the attendees of that rally got their tires slashed. Very ugly.

When I had finished marking my ballot, I fed it into the second of two machines there to take ballots. I don't know why there were two, perhaps they switch them off day to day. It's the first time I early voted at the library instead of journeying to the County Seat to vote at the courthouse. There are just two precincts at this end of the county, both actual polling places are in churches. I don't like to vote in the First Baptist Church.

I noted the number on the machine (like a glorified copier) when I fed my ballot in, so I'd see it counted. It was. Number 445, in fact. This particular machine had received 444 votes since early voting opened last Thursday, and it's not open on Sunday. That number reflects what must be extremely close to all the duly registered voters in both precincts of our town! Even if we're up to maybe 900-1,000 people by now, there probably aren't more than 500 of 'em old enough to vote.

My husband made small talk with the poll ladies (who were all very nice and helpful) while we waited for grandson to finish registering and vote.  They said turnout had been surprising, and that new young voters had been registering in droves even though there's only one high school and community college in our county, both in the seat. They'd apparently heard nothing about the Fayetteville rally on Sunday or the ugly antics of McCain supporters. We were the only voters there so close to closing, so it's not like the conversation would have upset any other voters.

Now, I remember when Jesse Helms ran this state with an iron-fisted "machine." Back when our poll was in the train station I'd see ambulances lined up to wheel elderly people in from nursing homes to vote, many of whom didn't look able to punch those cards and couldn't see well enough to know which to punch. They got a lot of help, of course, but to me it was quite the spectacle. Back in those days (early '90s) you had to 'prove' you were out of state (or would be) on election day to vote absentee, otherwise you had to physically show up no matter how disabled you were.

After the 2000 election fiasco (when about a third of voters got 'lost' and a lot of dead people were on the rolls), they went to no-excuse absentee. Then after the 2004 fiasco when Diebold's glorified Etch-a-Sketches threw state races into turmoil, they came up with early One-Stop voting and paper ballots. This year I expect there may be no more than a dozen voters who put it off until November 4th.

So... I am now wondering what it will be like when "election day" comes and nobody shows up... because they've already voted.

The parties may have to play catch-up with the voters this time. It's entirely possible that this state will have been firmly decided well before November 4th. Wouldn't that be a gas?

Originally posted to Joy Busey on Mon Oct 20, 2008 at 09:09 PM PDT.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site