Election day and Indian summer — 3 Comments

  1. Did you know that for us outside the US who never took part of the actual voting process, that this is the most under-reported part of the democratic process? How you know where to go to vote, how you actually do it, how the ballot looks like and what is it that you vote for beside the well-advertised sides of the coin… all that is a mystery. The networks may think it’s the boring bit but without taking a peek, there is no way I could tell how it is for the Joe to go vote and become somebody (thinking of Tim Allen’s Joe Somebody – not of plumbing…)

    Thank you for this bit, Diane.

  2. I wasn’t in Chicago, much less Grant Park, but I did go to Springfield to see Obama and Biden after the convention. Being in a large crowd with no way out, literally, takes a lot of getting used to.

  3. Alexis: In the old days of a less glitzy (and profit-driven) media, a lifestyle reporter might have done a story about the voting process and how it’s changed over the years. Now we’re too busy talking about Paris Hilton and committing character assassinations.

    I used to know where to vote because the Democratic Party (machine in Chicago) used to leave flyers in every building. I used to vote at a local school. Then I was moved to Montgomery Place, where I’ve gone ever since. There were no flyers in my building, but I understand that you can also find your polling place online (I could not get Google Maps’ vote site to cooperate, however).

    In every election, there are choices about local offices (this year, water reclamation district here) and whether to retain judges. These are difficult unless you follow recommendations made by the local paper or groups you believe in, e.g., the local Sierra Club. I would guess most people just ignore them or say “yes” or “no” to most to get it over with.

    On the Illinois ballet were questions about changing the state constitution (comes up every 20 years, apparently) and whether the governor should be able to be recalled. You don’t want to know what I think about that.

    I remember now that this year I didn’t see any straight party options, where you check something off and automatically vote ALL Democratic, ALL Republican, ALL Green, etc.

    I understand that my home state of New York still has the curtained voting booths with pull levers that I remember from my childhood. That is unbelievably cool to me.

    Michael: My aunt and I struggled for four hours, if I’m not exaggerating, to get out of a Beach Boys crowd around the Washington Monument (we were walking around innocently and didn’t realize how bad our timing was). For someone like me, it was a horrifying experience. I felt a little like that at the free Sting concert a few years ago. Give me a blankie on the lawn at Ravinia any time.

    Besides, Obama eats here, in Hyde Park, and lives a mile and a half from me. Until he sells, of course. I gather many Hyde Parkers have run into him since his political star began to rise. I’m not one of them. I need to get out more. Perhaps he could be persuaded to try the tarts at Bonjour?

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