Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Election 2008: Taking part in history

We made voting last night a family event.

Expecting the line to be long (since there were more than 500 people lined up when I passed by on my way to work), we picked up a pizza to eat while we waited. When we got to the polling place though, there was no line at all. We enjoyed our pizza in the car before going in.

Misty went first while I waited with the girls, but when it was my turn Emily wanted to go in with me. We found a table where we could sit down together and fill out my ballot, and I showed her how it worked, coloring in the boxes next to the names of the candidates you wanted to vote for.

After a few minutes Emily asked me, "Where's Barack Obama?"

I pointed to his name on the ballot and said, "He's right here. We've already finished that section."

"No, not his name," she told me, "the man."

"He's in Illinois," I said. "That's another state."

"Then what are we doing here?!" she wanted to know.

It turns out that Emily thought we were going meet Obama and she would get to play with his kids.

After voting, we drove by Ben & Jerry's, but the line was wrapped out the door and down the sidewalk. Though we'd have waited it out to vote if we'd needed to, the idea of standing in that line for a free scoop of ice cream didn't seem worth it, so we continued on to Krispy Kreme instead.

Post-election donuts
Originally uploaded by MCuthbert
There was a big line for free donuts too, but it was somewhat more manageable. Krispy Kreme has more space inside, and it's easier to hand off a donut to each customer than it is to scoop out an ice cream cone -- it moved along pretty quickly. Emily watched the donuts getting made and made quick friends with a couple kids wearing McCain / Palin buttons that matched those of their parents.

Our Krispy Kreme location didn't have the special star-shapped donuts, but at least they had red, white and blue sprinkles. We each got one (even though the girls obviously didn't vote -- I thought that was nice).

When we got home, we watched the results trickle in on CNN, then switched over to The Daily Show's live coverage. When Jon Stewart announced Obama's victory, I thought it was a joke -- a sort of "well, he's so far ahead, we'll just go ahead and call it." But switcing back to the "real" news, we learned that it was true.

I'm proud that my daughters got to be a part of the election night process, if only as observers. I doubt they'll remember the day when they're grown, but they'll always be able to say that they were there.

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