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Politics schmolitics

On the ground in Philly

  • Nov. 4th, 2008 at 8:36 PM
I served as a poll worker in my urban Philadelphia, Pennsylvania division. Some observations:

When I arrived for work at 6:15 AM, there were already three people in line to vote. The polls do not open until 7 AM here.

The first voter was a 93-year-old African American woman. She had tears in her eyes when she left the voting booth.

Holy awesome turnout, Batman! More than 70% in my division. To put that into perspective, an ordinary primary runs about 35%. This year's primary hit 50%.

Our machines functioned perfectly. Most voters, even the ones who'd registered on the very last possible day, were present on the rolls. Of the ones who weren't, most were either confirmed by the county office in charge and permitted to vote, or allowed to casst provisional ballots expected to be approved. Only two recent registrants were not in the system, a minuscule percentage.

There were a large number of first-time voters. Some were young, some were old (including one senior citizen who finally felt involved in the political process).

My division runs about 10-1 Democratic, registration-wise. Obama received 94% of the vote to McCain's 6% (Barr received the only vote not cast for either the Democratic or Republican tickets.

Perhaps the most striking result was that the Republicans on the bottom of the ticket (the smaller local offices below the Presidential race on the ballot) received more votes than the top of the ticket. Ouch.

The polls closed 45 minutes ago; by the time we completed our paperwork and I walked home around the corner, the local news was already calling PA for Obama.


( Comment )
a_minor_third wrote:
Nov. 5th, 2008 01:59 am (UTC)
The first voter was a 93-year-old African American woman. She had tears in her eyes when she left the voting booth.

Wow, this really moved me...
pewter_wings wrote:
Nov. 5th, 2008 02:02 am (UTC)
It is said that Obama is reaching for the young people. But while campaigning for Obama, it was the 65 and older crowd who were excited about him.
ratphooey wrote:
Nov. 5th, 2008 02:10 am (UTC)
Me, too! I mean, imagine how the country has changed in her lifetime. To be able to walk into a polling place and cast a vote for an African American candidate with a good chance of winning the Presidency? Amazing.
gymx wrote:
Nov. 5th, 2008 02:44 am (UTC)
I've been to say your icon is fantastic!
ratphooey wrote:
Nov. 5th, 2008 01:02 pm (UTC)
Oh, thank you! It was a snapshot of the menu board outside my local pub when Obama's comment about how embittered Pennsylvanians turn to guns and religion.

I even forgave them for dropping the L in Pennsylvania, when normally I am a stickler for things like spelling and grammar. :-)
polarisdib wrote:
Nov. 5th, 2008 02:56 am (UTC)
I actually find my Independent peers and I tend to vote Republican on the smaller, local races, and Democrat for the federal races. In a way, I think that's a great way it could work, except of course on a case-by-case basis.

kisarazumama wrote:
Nov. 5th, 2008 05:37 am (UTC)
I've never, EVER seen lines at our polling place (in MD) like we had tonight. It's been the same one for years--local middle school--and usually it's drive up, park, walk in, vote, walk out. Takes, oh, fifteen minutes. Tonight they had to wind the line through the gymnasium to hold everyone; just to get to the voting machines took an hour. That's when I knew for sure this night was something special. But I still never predicted 338 electoral votes and concession speeches by midnight.

What a wonderful, beautiful night this is.

( Comment )