“Let’s Vote!”

Maury "Never have so many people in the region registered to vote, and with the intense interest in the presidential election, officials expect turnout rates as high as 90 percent. Virginia has added 500,000 registered voters to its rolls since the 2004 presidential election and now has more than 5 million. Maryland’s list has grown 10 percent, to almost 3.5 million, and the District has almost 427,000.

"The numbers are going to be staggering," said Guy Mickley, president of the Maryland Association of Elections Officials."  Washpost


On election day, my wife and I will walk a few blocks to "Matthew F. Maury School" to cast our ballots in the school gymnasium.  She was an election official for many years and the polling place will be filled with poll workers who are old colleagues of hers.  The people waiting in line to vote will be neighbors.  It will be a scene that Norman Rockwell would have liked to paint, but, in fact, the Rosemont neighborhood is altogether like that.

Until a few years ago candidates were not identified by party on Virginia ballots.  We do not register to vote by party.  Hell, until a few years ago you did not need an ID card to vote.  You certified as to who you were subject to prosecution if you lied.  In Alexandria, Virginia civic activism is a major participant sport.

Having said all that, I think that the level of public interest in this election is noticeably higher than anything I have seen before.  The turnout for this one is going to be massive.  There are candidate signs everywhere on lawns.

It is ironic that the NAACP is suing Governor Kaine over the issue of preparations for the election.  Kaine is a Democrat.  He is a co-chair of Obama’s national campaign.  He is a former mayor of Richmond, a city dominated by Black Virginians.

As the man said last night on "The Daily Show," let’s get this over with.

Let’s vote!  pl


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28 Responses to “Let’s Vote!”

  1. linda says:

    here’s a remarkable story:
    Daughter of slave votes for Obama
    109-year-old Bastrop woman casts her vote by mail.
    By Joshunda Sanders
    Monday, October 27, 2008
    Amanda Jones, 109, the daughter of a man born into slavery, has lived a life long enough to touch three centuries. And after voting consistently as a Democrat for 70 years, she has voted early for the country’s first black presidential nominee.

  2. wasa1 says:

    The Washington Post has an article “Never Seen Crowds Like This”, depicting the projections of voting turnout across the region. It’s suprising to learn that Maryland requires there be a voting machine for every 200 registered voters, while Virginia mandates there be one for every 750 registered voters.
    Prince William County expects a very heavy turnout (90%)and has a total of one voting machine for every 600 registered voters. There is no paper backup system available. According to the county’s General Registrar, Betty Weimer, this won’t be a problem because they have THREE spare machines and their machines rarely experience failures during elections. Also she notes that the ballot only has 3 places to mark, so the lines should move quickly. Wishful thinking there.

  3. Mad Dogs says:

    I caught that Daily Show riff too last night.
    Sums up my feelings as well.
    Let’s vote already!

  4. Andy says:

    I voted about a week ago absentee. Hopefully you have nice weather while standing in line.

  5. charlottemom says:

    I “early voted” last Tues and it was brisk but by no means crazy. Now, lines in Charlotte are at least “an hour” long. Got two (non-robo) calls from NC Republican party last night re voting for McCain; told them it was all over and I voted for the other guy. Republicans always at least two steps behind this election. So, I’ve already gotten this over with and now just waiting the results. Do I dare say “and let the best man win?”

  6. I’m really happy about this. We are seeing intense voter interest in Oakland around the propositions, with loud demonstrations for and against the gay marriage ban… the loudest demos are from the people in favor of banning gay marriage, and it’s not fun for the rest of us who have to explain to our children why we think it’s good for Isabel to have two mommies, legally married, but those other people want to put a stop to it. They yell at us on the street outside school and the children ask questions. Unpleasant. I don’t wear my opinions anywhere on my person, car or property, but I don’t like being yelled at. (Note to anti-war protesters…)
    Anyway – at least it’s civic involvement, right?
    On the big day I plan to take the children to see our polling place (well after I vote – don’t want them squirming while I’m in line or trying to cast a ballot). Then we are invited to an election night party and we’ll bring the kids. I hope they’ll remember this day when they’re grown.

  7. anna missed says:

    I have an ample supply of mortar fireworks at the ready, that went unused after the last presidential election. Have a feeling that this November 4th the sky over my house will at last light up with color.

  8. Jackie Shaw says:

    Kansas has early voting this year. I went about 11:00 a.m. yesterday and was blown away by the size of the line. It took about 25 minutes. I’ve never seen a year like this and I’ve been voting for 36 years. If my county was the only one that counted in Kansas, we’d definitely be blue.

  9. Fred says:

    Someone down the road changed the hand painted Ron Paul sign on the utility pole at the main thoroughfare intersection to ‘support the militia’. Don’t think they’ll like the out come of the election either way. Michigan, birthplace of Terry Nichols, the good friend of Timothy McVeigh. It will be interesting post election as well.

  10. Paul says:

    My wife and I voted absentee from Europe.
    Will the election shut the mouths of Palin and that fraud, Joe the Plumber? How and why was McCain taken in by these two?
    I used to cringe at the thought of having to listen to Hillary Clinton’s voice whenever she raised it to make a point, but Sarah Palin rally voice is most annoying. Femininity seems to be lacking in her delivery.

  11. Charles I says:

    90%!!! Wow.I envy you in one sense. We just had an election on October 14(37 DAYS long, and that was too much for most of us)and the turnout was 60%, the lowest ever in a Canadian federal election. The recounts are already finished.
    On the other hand, when I see rallies where people are basically told that liberals who hate them will actually send people to take away their property for redistribution by that Marxist Obama, well, a retrograde smug disbelief creeps in. Then I recall that our current PM has imported the very experts and techniques used by the flatheads, and they do have some traction up here. . .
    Good luck voting people, hope you all get to vote without too many problems. It appears the 2012 election is already underway.

  12. zanzibar says:

    The early voting this election seems to be a significant per cent better than 2004 with an apparent Democratic party advantage.
    I just completed my ballot and it should be in the mail today.
    Next Tuesday night could be devastating to the Republicans if the polls are anywhere near accurate.
    I am glad that the term of the “Worst Preznit evah” is coming to an end and we can retire 4th branch. Although I am hopeful and optimistic, I have some trepidation that another term of one party rule could once again have negative consequences. What havoc will Wall Street Party#2 wreak? Will anyone in the current administration be tried for treason? Will it be just another season of kabuki?? Or do we once again become a constitutional republic???

  13. greg0 says:

    Yesterday I hand delivered our ballots to the county clerk’s office. With 100% mail-in ballots, we have an easy time with recounts here in Oregon.
    I’m worried about voting machine integrity in the touch screen states like Pennsylvania. With all the polls going Obama’s way, it will be difficult but not impossible to steal another one. It won’t come down to just one state, anyway.

  14. inquire says:

    I’d like to add a dash of perspective at a good distance from Virginia, Canada. I am very heartened to hear the enthusiasm and high turnout across the country that is expected south of the border. Oddly enough, you will see Obama paraphernalia on a regular basis around Toronto; in living room windows, buttons on jackets, bumper stickers etc. Everyone is abuzz about it as well. Contrast this with our recently held election; the campaign was publicly financed, controlled by a non-partisan elections bureaucracy, and less than 6 weeks long. It concluded on October 14 – the day after Canadian Thanksgiving – with a Conservative minority government. The turnout, however, was a shameful 59%.
    But the major difference between 59% in Canada and a similar turnout in the US is that that is 59% of eligible voters as essentially all eligible votes are registered voters in Canada. We have federally administered elections that are effective, organized, and smoothly conducted in nearly all ridings throughout the country. If you pay taxes, you are registered to vote. If you are not, or have recently changed address (as I did), you can go to the polling place, present ID, one piece of mail to the new address and cast a ballot in your new riding without issue.
    I would dearly love to see the Yanks follow the Canadian lead on elections – or at least recognize that they can run efficiently in a large territory (even if we only have 10% of your population). I understand the constitutional systems are different, that states and provinces are irreconcilable in their distinctiveness, but if nothing else Canada can serve as a model to show you how responsible (if less dramatic) campaigns and elections can be conducted. But, another significant difference crops up – the fate of the known world does not hinge on whether Stephen Harper gets a minority or majority in parliament as it does if Obama can clinch a majority in the electoral college.
    I wish all Americans and safe and efficient election day, we will be watching with much anticipation (on the BBC, certainly not CNN) as Obama hopefully captures a well deserved victory.

  15. John Hammer says:

    I am one of the Virginia newbees. I registered at Alexandria DMV last month and will vote at the Lyles Crouch School while on a early morning run.

  16. J says:

    i’m worried about voter suppression that appears at play in several states where voters have been stripped from the rolls. many are complaining that bush has ordered doj to strip dem voters rolls in favor of mccain, that is a rising complaint nationwide.

  17. Bill H. says:

    Charles I:
    Weren’t they referred to as the Roundheads?
    Heaven help us if J. “Oliver Cromwell” McCain should succeed “Bloody” George W. I suspect he’ll close the theatres and make us sing Psalms each day, to keep us from going Muslim on him.
    Thanks for the good wishes and keep your head about you.

  18. ked says:

    I think the approach of voting early (if not often) is a great one. It will be much harder to deny one’s franchise or generate fake votes on the retail side (a Dem specialty), while wholesale corruption (the GOP style) is more difficult due to close observation over a longer period.
    I hope.

  19. Steve says:

    Count me as a sentimentalist, but I refuse to vote early.
    I like the pageantry, the drama, and the gravitas that comes with standing in a line and casting my vote on the actual election day. To me, I find that little play to be more meaningful than the Fourth of July. For some brief moment I can imagine that I am making a difference and that my actions constitute some historical confirmation of the ideals of Franklin and Jefferson.
    Yes, I know I’m sentimental and naive, but . . . . .

  20. Twit says:

    I voted too already (in Virginia)! It is a heady feeling, in this election or any other.
    I am enjoying the moment, most of all because deep down I know Obama is full of it.

  21. Mike Martin, Yorktown, VA says:

    So, Pat, I understand that McCain’s brother Joe has characterized you Alexandrians (and my son in Arlington) as the “Communist part of Virginia.” Very quaint of him. Any comment?

  22. Steve says:

    Notice how Perino says that voting is a “privilege” and a “right”. Am I missing something here?
    “Q And lastly, November 4th is coming, and there are concerns from many people about the long lines. Many are concerned that McCain supporters, as well as Obama supporters, are going to have to wait in long lines. And things could indeed cause some voting problems or irregularities because of these long waits. Is there anything that this administration is intending on doing to ensure that the voting process will be carried out fairly? We just saw that the NAACP has filed suit against Virginia because of concerns about long lines.”
    MS. PERINO: I think that voting is a privilege in this country, and it’s a right. And everyone that has that ability should be able to take advantage of it. That said, the suit that you were just talking about was actually against the state of Virginia, and that’s because the states and the localities are the ones responsible for elections. There are a lot of things that we’re responsible for here at the White House, but long lines on voting day are not one of them.”

  23. This morning WAPO has great article on use of paper ballots, electronic voting machines and optical scanning machines. Hoping for all the votes cast to count,and be correctly registered. That is what I was told about elections when growing up. Hope it is true.

  24. Curious says:

    McCain is cutting GOTV budget.
    The decision to finance a final advertising push is forcing McCain to curtail spending on Election Day ground forces to help usher his supporters to the polls.
    The vaunted, 72-hour plan that President Bush used to mobilize voters in 2000 and 2004 has been scaled back for McCain. He has spent half as much as Obama on staffing and has opened far fewer field offices. This week, a number of veteran GOP operatives who orchestrate door-to-door efforts to get voters to the polls were told they should not expect to receive plane tickets, rental cars or hotel rooms from the campaign.
    “The desire for parity on television comes at the expense of investment in paid boots on the ground,” said one top Republican strategist who has been privy to McCain’s plans. “The folks who will oversee the volunteer operation have been told to get out into the field on their own nickel.”

  25. Sidney O. Smith III says:

    Hey MJ
    Thanks for taking a stand. In my opinion, you speaketh wisdom when you mentioned that you’ll find morons and good folks everywhere. But try telling that to the likes of Fisher, Matthews, and those of the fourth estate.
    And you cite a most significant quote from MLK, Jr. And so true, too. Not sure many folks hanging out here at SST understand of what you speaketh but I respect you for giving a whirl. Good luck in your efforts!
    And, yes, there are beautiful places everywhere on this planet but the classic city is special indeed. 40 Watt club. REM. B-52’s. Cobb Street and more. If memory serves me correctly both Walker Percy and Shelby Foote made the rounds in your town.
    I’ve referred SST and the “Athenaeum” to a few folks in Athens. Hope you’ll do the same and get the word out. Why not place a flyer for SST at the Gyro place? Start a SST insurgency on Baxter St and Milledge! I mean, think about it…the Athenaeum — is there is any better name of a webpage dedicated to literature and the arts?
    And, hey, it would suit me fine if the rest of the world never discovered such a great find as where you now reside, but, somewhat to my dismay, Athens, GA is popping up in national magazines as one of the premier smaller cities in the US. Admittedly, I am a bit ambivalent about such publicity. I felt uneasy when LA money discovered Savannah and the Georgia coast a few years ago. LA types had already created a pipeline to Charlottesville and Keswick, VA. Egads…the ersatz Southern scene. My grandmother warned me of such. Oh well…
    Again thank very much for speaking up and best of luck this Saturday. WLOCP. Game on.

  26. J says:

    see: http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_10816808?source=most_emailed
    this ‘international crisis’ that the self-described zionist joe biden keeps referring to, is it possibly a planned apr 09 [israeli] conflict with iran? the mossad liquidator tzipi livini, if she wins the israeli elections, she would learn to live in peace with iran even if their relations were somewhat chilly, as livni is pragmatic enough to understand that military confrontations is not the only option in dealing with iran.
    then you have the wingjut wacko bibi netanyahu, if he wins the israeli pm, it will be another story altogeather. and that story will be war – war with syria, war with lebanon, war with iran. remember that bibi was the one who said that 911 was ‘beneficial’ for israel [ http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/975574.html ] and…..bibi reportedly received prior warning of the 77 attack in the london tubes [ http://www.antiwar.com/blog/2005/07/18/mossad-chief-confirms-netanyahus-warning-of-london-bombing/ ].
    one of the things we as americans have to worry about is that the wackos/wingjuts in israel may well be banking on u.s. intervention with iran when it retaliates after an israeli first strike. and don’t forget that russia has said ‘repeatedly’ than an attack on iran is an attack on russia’s interests (and they are not bluffing either). what begins as a regional clash could easily escalate. count on hizbollah, the mahdis, syria, russia, china, and nuke capable paki-land siding with iran, in such an instance.
    in many ways the obama/biden combo is no different from the mccain/palin one or the bush/cheney cabal for that matter, as they all follow the same agenda — israel first no matter what, irregardlness how it hurts america and american interests.

  27. R.L. Kirtley says:

    I have lived in and voted for almost 30 years in a district(Louisville,Ky.)that is probably 80% African American.Most of the poll workers are older black men and women.I have always felt the pride that they and the voters take in being able to use their voice.I will join them next Tuesday and cast my vote(my 1st was for JFK) for a man who I and I’m sure a lot of them think is a great choice for President,Obama.I will probably tear up a little as I do because of the people around me.They must be so proud to be represented by such a fine canidate.

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