I’m glad to know I’m not out of touch with our community.
Despite the doom-forecasters in the national political scene, we saw justice done this morning in the polls in our county. I arrived to keep an eagle eye on the proceedings just before 6:30 and met three delightful retired ladies, who accommodated myself and the other poll watcher by letting us sit behind the counter with them so we could easily keep track of the incoming voters.
We had lines several times during the day, but no more than a 15 minute wait for any individual. The ladies were courteous and I never saw a trace of any potential racism that I had been warned about. No voter intimidation, no racism in the least. Many students, black, white and Asian all voted peacefully, and those who had never voted before were particularly pleased to put the “I voted” sticker on their jackets!
I’m curious where the information came from that stimulated the need for legally-trained poll watchers; perhaps from the students themselves, as I noticed even when I left there was an 800-number posted outside for those who felt they’d been discriminated against to call. I don’t know if anyone called. There were very few questions about whether someone could vote, and most were handled with a call to the courthouse to verify someone wasn’t just in the wrong polling place, and then a provisional ballot. So everyone got to vote.
All this goes to reassure me that I am not reading my community wrong at all. This is still small-town America (not necessarily the “real” America, but certainly the kind of community that we all think people should live in–fair, caring and good-natured), and we have good people here. We have our disagreements, but when it comes to loving this country and the right to express opinions through the vote, at least, we do the right thing.
Thank you to all those who provided information about the University of Pitt campus and student body. I’m pleased to see they in fact live up to their promises, and I hope those who have the wrong idea about our folk get educated, like I did.
Now I’m just hoping that, since I got up at 4:45 a.m. to get to the polls on time, that I can stay up late enough to see the results. If you haven’t voted yet, GO VOTE!!!
Tagged: Obama, racism, small town, University of Pittsburgh, vote, voter intimidation, voter protection