Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Thanks, Chicago election people!

Today, T and I had the happy experience of voting early at the Edgewater Public Library. Apparently early voting in Chicago is reaching record numbers, so the whole thing took a little over an hour. Waiting in line offered an opportunity to chat with friendly fellow voters and the wonderful folks working at the voting site. ("This is NOT one to sit out," the woman in front of us said emphatically.) The poll workers were wonderfully patient and helpful. They respected everyone's concerns, even helping one nervous voter fill out a paper ballot when she thought her computer ballot had made a mistake.

You aren't allowed to wear any other campaign stuff inside the voting site, and no one said a word about whom they'd be voting for. Yet somehow, the room was bursting with hidden excitement and energy: after all, this is Obama's political hometown, and so many people are thrilled about the potential of his election.

Outside the polling place, our city is certainly full of enthusiasm for Obama. As I ride the Red Line to the South Side each Wednesday, the train eventually empties itself of white riders and fills up with black ones. And I've observed that among these folks, the Obama buttons, stickers and t-shirts are everywhere. Some of my families on the South Side wear their Obama shirt to every violin lesson. There's a palpable excitement and pride that I'm glad to be a part of - whether Obama is the ideal candidate or not. In this vein, Elle Ph.D has a beautiful post about what Obama's candidacy means to her young son. (Via Feministe.)

One last thing in the Obama-glow category: expect photos from Obama's election-night event in Grant Park. We've got tickets.

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