Friday, November 07, 2008

don't harsh my mellow *

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A splendid week to be an American.
My day as an Election Official (which is the same job but not as cool a title as Mary Lou in Minnesota) was well worth the 4:30 am start. By 5:30 we had a line down the hall waiting in our little district, and polls didn't open till 6. My job was Demonstrator/Greeter which is the voting way of saying I was Bouncer . I stood by the entrance, controlled the flow, explained our new-ish ballot system and reminded folks to get their id's out, without a pause till the crowd thinned at 1pm. Then the oddest thing, it got quieter,with a steady but much slower flow of voters passed through, as I chatted with neighbors and cranked some major pea green stockinette on the Imogen.
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You know what was the coolest thing about being an Election Official? This democracy thing really works. The polls were neutral, there was respect, dignity , sincerity and a complete vacuum of politics inside the building.

Even better was the next morning when I learned my college son in Florida and my 19 yo niece, in college in Boston , had called each other to scream together about our new president. I'm old enough to know here are few times- if any- that you feel that excited by an election, that you feel hope and huge potential for the world we live in to be better.

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* I used this phrase while blabbing at SnB the other night and drew blank looks from my fellow knitters- but seriously? don't!


Kay said...

Just dropping by to mellow your mellow!

So cool that you served democracy in this way.

Ellen Bloom said...

Are you from Southern California?

We say, "Don't harsh my mellow" all the time here!

I concur about respect at the polls. Same in my diverse polling place in Los Angeles....a community of respect!

Cookie said...

Youth is truly wasted on the young.

I think democracy should not start to early in the morning. It sounds to me like you were more of a maitre de than a bouncer. Or is there something you're not telling us? I'm assuming you didn't have to rough anyone up.

Right? o.0


Carole Knits said...

The woman who served as bouncer for us thanked us for voting when we left. It does feel good this time!

Mary Lou said...

Ahem, we call it greeter judge -- and I am so into don't harsh my mellow this week. My niece texted me at 270 +, the phone was ringing off the hook, my neighbor came over to sit on our floor and weep during the speech. I'm still singing Leonard Cohen Democracy! And my word verification for this comment? pledg!

twinsetellen said...

It has been so long since I've felt it in relation to national politics, that it took me awhile to recognize that mellow was what I was feeling.

And I agree, the attitude within the polling places was so great - and I know some of the people I was talking to were voting for different candidates. It didn't matter, we all seemed glad to see so much voting.

Diane said...

I had signed up to be an election judge but they didn't call and didn't call so I worked GOTV for the Obama campaign, recruiting canvassers and directing the activities for the last 4 days of the campaign for one of our neighborhood teams.

It was so great to see everyone from teenagers to grandparents volunteering. We even had one guy who was from Australian work all 4 days. We ended up recruiting him as a poll watcher. Everybody was so excited and energized.

Oh and the election board called 3 days before the election to see if I could work. Too late by then.

Ann said...

I am finding it impossible for anybody to harsh my mellow. Go head, ya hatas, try all you like but this is going to be a four-year mellow.

Congratulations to us ALL!