Vote Early, Vote for Obama

4 Nov

You know I think voting is a big deal if I wake up an hour earlier than usual to do it.

I mean, I’m a guy who hits snooze for more than an hour every day before he finally gets out of bed.

But that’s exactly what I did this morning, waking up at 6:30 just so I could get to the polling place on time to cast my ballot for Barack Obama.

After a quick shower and all that stuff, I got to the elementary school by 7:10 and surprisingly, only had a short wait. I brought my camera, but the scene just wasn’t as photogenic as I’d hoped.

Still, folks were in a good mood. Given the hour, people made the requisite “vote early, vote often” jokes. Neighbors greeted neighbors. Parents walked out holding their children.

And then it was my turn.

My pen went right for the bubble next to Obama/Biden and when it was all filled in, I took a quick breath to soak up the moment and feel some satisfaction with my choice.

This was my first time voting in Newton, and I will admit, it was great to finally vote for president, but it was also cool to see Barney Frank on the ballot — and be able to vote for him too.

I’ll also say the three ballot questions were largely game-day decisions since I’d been wavering back and forth on them for weeks.

Anyway, by 7:30 I was already on my way home with a smile on my face and tremendous pride in the democratic process. The only thing missing from the whole experience was an “I voted” sticker (apparently, my precinct didn’t have any to give out).

Oh well.

I guess I’ll have to get two free cones from Ben & Jerry’s to make up for it. (If I drank coffee, I could get some for free at Starbucks today too.)

It’s funny: Looking back, I don’t think I’ve ever been this excited to vote in an election — not even in 1992 when I voted for the first time. I’m not totally sure why that is, but it probably has to do with the fact that in ’92, I voted via an absentee ballot instead of in a booth (after all, I was in college at the time).

And, this year, I just find Barack Obama to be the best man for the job and feel very strongly about that.

I give lots of credit (or blame) for my interest in the election to Keith Olbermann, who I’ve watched just about every night for the better part of the past 10 or 11 months.

Love him or hate him, Keith’s a guy with a lot of passion for politics, and for the most part, his views and mine synch up pretty closely.

When he gets riled up about something, so do I. When I’m excited about something, Keith usually is too.

To be clear: I did not vote for Obama because Keith told me to. But I can say that Keith helped me get more invested in making a choice, first between Obama and Hillary Clinton, and then between Obama and John McCain (not that I needed any help there), and to get really excited about the process.

So thanks, Keith. You da man.

Anyway … so now my ballot’s been cast and all I can do is sit back and wait till the results come in around 8 p.m. tonight. It’s going to be a long — but hopefully good — day.

Following the election’s become a big part of my life in recent months and while I’m not sorry to see it end, I will miss the process. But more importantly, I’m looking forward to a new administration — and I’m hopeful that it’ll be led by my candidate.

And hey, if you’re reading this and haven’t voted yet, what are you waiting for? Get out and vote!

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