Four years ago, I showed up to vote at my designated polling place. I had just taken an early morning run. It was about 7:00 AM. There were virtually no lines. About a dozen elderly voters being helped by a half-dozen elderly poll workers was all there was to the early turnout. I zipped in and out of the booth, barely having caught my breath from the 3-mile run.
This morning was amazing. The line was long, snaking around the relatively large community building that had replaced the small office provided by the volunteer ambulance unit back then. Dozens, perhaps hundreds had already voted.
My neighbor ran up to me with a smile on his face. He had already voted and was now on his way to work. The day before he vowed that he was not going to miss being part of this moment in history that he would tell his children and grandchildren about.
Inside, the room was packed and steamy. Body heat filled the air. People waited patiently their turn, first at the table where they confirmed their registration, and second at the booth. No one openly betrayed their voting preference. It was clear however that people turned out to vote for the young man with the uncommon first, middle and last name who had come virtually from nowhere armed with a sophisticated grasp of domestic and international politics to speak truth to power, claim the mantle of the civil rights movement and vow to bring forth a more perfect union.
It all went pretty smoothly. I spent less than 30 minutes at the polls. Today’s vote will probably be the biggest that Maplewood will have witnessed. I dare believe that this will probably the case throughout the country. There’s only one thing to say: Amazing!