I woke up this morning with a spring in my step, excited to vote in yet another historic election. Steve Inskeep was talking about 2-hour waits in Florida. Friends in Virginia were noting at least 45 minute-long waits at 7am. I made sure to pack a book and some snacks for what I assumed would be a lengthy line later in the day.
Growing up, my father always volunteered at the polling stations. I remember walking to the local public elementary school with my mother to deliver him lunch. This is where I'd vote in high school, and where I cast my primary vote for the 2008 elections. I've voted absentee for president and governor, all from the great state of Virginia.
It should be noted that the only reason I'm a registered MD voter is because I needed a MD license to get a city parking permit, and figured, "What the hell?"
My polling place here in Baltimore... is a public housing unit. Gone are the days of shiny elementary schools paid for with tax dollars. Gone are the lines of people with their $12 sandwiches and Coach bags. Everyone in Northern Virginia seemed to treat voting like a chore, whereas here everyone seemed excited to vote. All those around me seemed so gracious for this great right, that they treated like the privilege it is. It was such a diverse group of Marylanders, all coming together to play a roll in this democratic system. Because I'm getting way too preachy and "Hooray for America!", I'll just note that my friend told me today, "I just wanted to moonwalk out of the polling place, I was so excited. I didn't, because I don't know how to moonwalk." It should also be mentioned that my wait was maybe ten minutes. No books or snacks were needed.
So you're new to Bmore - I sure hope you registered to vote. I hope you looked for your polling place in any of the fantastic locations (here, here, here, or my favorite (NSFW), here). I hope you read up on all the issues, all the candidates, and I hope you made an informed decision. I hope you realize the significance of your decisions on local issues, from the Dream Act to Prop 6 to the casinos in Prop 7.
Don't forget that it's still not too late to cast your (DAILY) ballot for So You're New to Bmore in the 2012 Mobbies! Keep the votes coming in until Friday!