607! That was the number that the voting machine clicked to as my scannable paper ballot was drawn into the ballot box this morning. We live in a small town in Central Massachusetts. Sometimes only a couple of hundred people turn out at each precinct. To see 606 other people had already voted was amazing.
There was a short line, but it moved along smoothly and steadily. The election workers were well prepared and there have been no glitches in our little corner of the world.
I wore my Obama ’08 - HOPE bracelet, but had it tucked under my sleeve. I wore my Obama-Biden pin, which I have hanging from a cord, but it was tucked in beneath my top. I had my photo ID (my Massachusetts Driver’s License) at the ready, but I did not need to present it. Once I had my ballot, I stood in a little two sided, triangular kiosk and carefully filled in the oval circles next to the names of the candidates I wanted to vote for. The Statewide Questions always take me a few extra minutes to focus on. Because of the way they are phrased, I often worry I am going to make a mistake!
Until today, I would have stated unequivocally that the most exciting election I ever participated in was my very first election back in 1976. I was 18 years old, away at college and had to fill out an absentee ballot for Rhode Island. But today, my excitement far exceeded that day 32 years ago. After eight long years of the Bush-Cheney administration, the possibility that our nation could get back on the right track was exhilarating. The possibility that we could elect Barack Obama and Joe Biden to be the next President and Vice President of the United States had me holding my breath with anticipation.