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It Was a Thumping

Finally, words from our President that I can get behind.


Can you stand to read another blog post about the voting process in America? If you can, great. If you can’t, well, you might want to go somewhere else today.

I did something I’ve never done before this past Tuesday. I spent 3 hours volunteering for a local candidate running for the House of Representatives here in Massachusetts. I sat at a table and checked off names as people voted. The list was made up of the names of known supporters and if someone we were counting on hadn’t been out to vote by later in the day then phone calls would be made encouraging them to come out and vote. It was very simple work but quite important to the cause.

I had my knitting with me but I honestly never even pulled it out of the bag because I was completely absorbed by the people watching. I saw so many different people – young and old, dressed up and dressed down, some with children and some holding hands. There were people laughing and joking and there were people who were serious and hurried. They were all different and yet all alike because they were all there to participate in our democracy.

My favorite people to watch were the ones with children. I loved hearing moms and dads explaining what it means to be able to vote and then showing their children how the process works. I kept thinking, “that’s right, teach ’em while they’re young so they’ll never doubt the importance of their voice.”

Later in the evening I went back to the polling place with Dale because we have always gone to vote together. We waited in line and chatted with neighbors and then we cast our ballots. And guess what? Not only did the candidate I was working for win but so did every other person I voted for. And the news across the nation yesterday just kept getting better.

I’m gloating a bit, I’ll admit. Might as well do it now. You know, before they actually get in office and start screwing things up.

This Post Has 39 Comments

  1. I noticed the kids, too. We have old-fashioned paper ballots, and sometimes they were allowed to feed it into the machine. Oooooh, so cool!

  2. In my district I heard the volunteers saying that the turn out was the largest they have ever witnessed for a non-presidential election. And it sounds like their volunteer experience went back about 40 years!

    It is nice to feel optimistic for the first time in years. Let’s hope they don’t mess it up, indeed!

  3. I love the optimism tinged with reality there at the end. Our district has something like 60% voter turnout for off year elections so there is always lots of action.

  4. What a great day for you and for all of us. Let’s hope that they don’t screw up. It would be nice to think that they might remember what brought then to congress in the first place – the extreme hubris of the red folks.

  5. The thing that I most looked forward to when I turned 18 was being able to vote. Unfortunately, I missed my first election by three weeks because of a late November birthday. I haven’t missed one since then. It’s one of the single most important things you can do as American and I’m grateful for the right to do so.

    You go girl for getting involved in the process!

  6. i love this post. except for the very end. jesus christ woman, give them at least a week before you doubt that they are up for the challenge 😉

  7. Hi Carole! watched everything in CNN and it was sooooo refreshing and inspiring. Congratulations to all of you!!

  8. As my kids were growing up, I always took them to vote with me. There is no doubt in their minds that I believe voting to be as much responsibility and duty as privilege. Now that they are young adults with voting rights of their own? The ones that actually go to the polls ask “now, who am I supposed to vote for?” Sigh. And the other one refused to vote because “it won’t make any difference no matter who’s in office, so why should I bother?” Yikes!

  9. I have only volunteered for a candidate once, and we did that same thing to try to get through the primary election. Sadly, he lost the primary, but I did work as an election judge when I was in college. It’s a neat feeling isn’t it?

  10. I love taking PumpkinBoy to vote. I explained it to him on our ride home Tues. night. We waited for Dan to come home and all went together, and he proudly piped to daddy when he came in “Daddy, we’re going to go voting tonight!!”

  11. It was indeed a “thumping”, and I loved every minute of it. My eldest son voted for the first time as I explained how stem cell research was vital to finding a cure for his genetic illness. Although there are so many issues we are all concerned about, that is the one that really hits home.

    Hope they don’t let us down.

  12. One of the things that I love about you, Carole, is that as soon as I start feeling very down on New England and how unfriendly people are and how isolated people are from each other, I read one of your posts and can totally see you and Dale, at your polling place, talking to your neighbors, part of your community, and then I feel much better about living here.

    So, thanks. 🙂

  13. I don’t know if I should be very afraid or guardedly optimistic. I bet it wll be business as usual

  14. Despite all the reasons for cynicism, I feel very good about this. My bet (Safire be damned) is that the Democrats want this to be more than just a temporal anomaly, as Captain Picard would say, and they’ll work very hard to be just what Pelosi said: ethical, accountable, and serious about actually getting something useful done for a change. (Whether they can get it past screWup is another question.)

  15. 🙂 Here’s a funny stor for you. I am takin college classes 3 nights a week. Last night was my macroeconomics class. The professor is leaning to the left….leaning isn’t the right word, he has fallen down he is so left 😉

    So he starts taking about how much change is going to take place within the first 100 minutes of the time all the dems are swarn in. I asked how he knew that all this change was going to taake place so fast. And his reply, “Because they ran on thoes issues”.

    Now that made me laugh. How many get elected and actually DO what they say they will do? I just thought that was a litte silly coming from a professor.

    Of course I do believe change is around the corner, but you are right. There will be some that screw it up!

  16. And I love getting to see who is working my polling place. Will I know them? Will it be a neighbor? It was all ladies this time around. Kind of nice as the men who like to work voting day tend to want to run everything.

    I think it’s lovely that you and Dale vote together.

  17. I’ve always taken my kids with me to vote – it’s something they look forward to as a very special occasion, which it is! 🙂

  18. I was my caucus chair in the last presidential election, and while it was very exciting, in the end, of course, it was a horrible day. I’m so glad the tide is turning!

  19. Great post Carole! And good on you for getting out there and volunteering!

    I wonder tho, for all the joy in Mudville and all the voter turn out sending the grand old party the message of our displeasure, how many constituents have written to their legislators telling them, “I’m your employer and the job you’re doing sucks! Straighten up or on November 7th, you’re fired!” In the business world, we give our employees evaluations and constructive criticisms periodically and warnings before they are let go. Political involvement and activism is a 365 day a year responsibility not just when election day rolls around and not just when we’re all so disgusted with the status quo we are finally driven to the polls in desperation for change!

    That being said, I’ve been smiling like the Cheshire Cat since Tuesday! 🙂

  20. Like Monica, I as your neighbour to the north have been smiling a bit more brightly since the news broke yesterday morning. And I was delighted to see so many knitbloggers getting the message out on Tuesday to encourage people to vote. Thank you.

    There are a lot of things I don’t understand about your electoral system, despite having learned about it in high school, and an equal number I don’t think I like, but it’s always interesting to see what a change in your federal spectrum does to ours. This one will help us all, I think. I hope. I choose to believe.

  21. I’ve brought Dobby with me every time I have voted since she began living with us – mostly because, her bio-father (brace yourself) ‘doesn’t believe in voting’. Yes, he is an idiot. And yes, that is exactly what he says. So, I’ve been trying to wipe out his influence for six years. I like to think it’s working – she got in an argument about it with him last weekend…and won ;o) What really warmed my heart? She sounded just like me – must have pissed him off royally *grin*

  22. Thank you for a wonderful post. I have always taken the kids with me to vote and now I get to nag then until I know that have voted. I took my grandson to vote absentee this year (because I was an election judge in a different precinct). We just have to keep passing on the idea that voting is important and that the more people who vote, the better the whole system will run.

  23. My Mom’s in politics, and I did my first “GOTV” stuff before I could read… and my Mom still felt that she needed to remind me to vote! Unfortunately, the “only straight people can have the right to marry” initiatives passed here… Made me proud of my old home state, NJ!

  24. You know what they say – the problem with a democracy is that we get the government we deserve, the one we work for. Thanks for working for it.

  25. Congratulations for doing your civic duty Carole! Too many people bitch about what governments do and don’t do but they themselves do nothing to be involved in the process. We can’t change things unless we are prepared to be part of the change….PS. There are lots of Canadians happy with the results too!

  26. I did some phonebanking and canvassing for “non-partisan” get-out-the-vote efforts this year (I put that in quotes because of course we were targeting our GOTV efforts to people we had reason to believe would vote the way we wanted them to!), and one of the objections I always heard for why people wouldn’t vote was because they didn’t have anyone to watch their kids. I loved talking to people about bringing their kids with them and modeling for them what it means to be a citizen of a democracy. I actually managed to change some minds, I think.

    Thanks for your thoughtful post, and hooray for the results. I am ecstatic every time I think about them. Welcome back, civil liberties (I hope)!

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