"About 1.9 million Floridians have already cast ballots eight days before Election Day." -- AP
I voted today, standing for half an hour on a busted foot, and I loved it.
I loved that I got to vote early at my local library, a place of fond memories for me. I loved that an older guy standing on the side of the road waving campaign signs for candidates I didn't even recognize gave me a high five, and thanked me for standing in line with an injury to vote. I loved that a little old lady in a wheelchair with an Obama/Biden poster and a sign saying "Save Medicare!" clapped when I shouted "Gobama!" -- along with the ten others behind her holding Obama signs. I loved it when a teenager behind the register at Taco Bell gave me another high five, because she saw my "I Voted" sticker on my chest. I love voting. I love voting early. And I love my community for loving me for it.
Apart from parking, there were no problems. No intimidation. No busted machines (they were new, and optical, so there's still a paper trail). Voter's rights were posted everywhere, and the place felt mellow and happy. Earlier in the day the wait had been an hour; I got lucky coming in during an ebb in voter traffic. After considering my ballot for a while, I came up for air to realize that all of the forty booths were packed, yet the poll volunteers (bless them) still looked full of energy.
My local news station said that at the close of the first day of early voting (Saturday), nearly 15 percent of Duval County voters had already cast a ballot. Given the response I saw in person, which was actually bigger than '08, I wouldn't be surprised if about half of those who will vote in Duval County will have cast a ballot before November 6th, and I love that too.
If you can't tell, I'm pretty happy just now...