The polling place in my neighborhood opens at 6:30 Eastern time this morning. I’ll be there then, ready to exercise my franchise in this election — the latest election to be called The Most Important Election in American History.
By voting on Election Day, I’m late to the game these days. Many of my friends, colleagues and family members have already voted. Richard has cast his ballot down in Texas, where early voting numbers have set records, and that’s true in other parts of the country, too. I think early voting is a great thing, because it provides flexibility and allows more people to participate in the process in accordance with their work and family schedules. Still, I prefer voting on Election Day itself. The lines might be a little longer, but there is just something about being at the polls with your fellow citizens, waiting patiently and quietly to have your turn in the voting booth, without accompanying rancor or bluster. There’s a certain solemnity to it, and a certain majesty, too. It always makes me feel good about myself, my community, and my country.
I also like Election Day because it is a day of expectancy. As the day unfolds, you know that millions of little, individual decisions are happening all around you that are slowly producing big, important results. It’s like a titanic machine with countless small parts, moving ponderously but inexorably in one direction or another — and we’re the little gears and sprockets and cogs that make it go. Whether we agree with the decisions or not, by the end of the day today we’ll have a pretty good idea of what our fellow citizens are thinking about the country and its direction.
And, especially recently, I like Election Day for yet another reason: because after today, all of the commercials and predictions and fanfare will be over, at least for a little while, and we can have some breathing space before we start gearing up for the next Most Important Election in American History. I think we can use some breathing space.