Four years ago…it seems like another lifetime. I feel like a different person.
On the eve of the last Presidential election, I was sure that Dubya and his vile coterie would be out on their ears, now that the public knew what kind of a monster he was. Talk about "getting fooled again!" Sick to my stomach, in shock, I began to write purely to save my sanity.
In beginning the uncomfortable work of self-examination, I came to a realization about my values, my worldview, and whether they were worth taking to the next level. I knew that if I didn't do my part, in whatever way available to me, I would have no right to the kind of democracy that is worth fighting for.
In four years, I have gone from a bystander to a participant. I have put my money where my mouth is. I've written a book. I've volunteered for candidates, both local and national, who share my values. I've joined organizations who work for the issues I care about. And I became a pollworker.
I've worked the polls with the same people for the past 3 years. We usually only see each other once or twice a year, when election time rolls around, but we have a bond that comes with hanging out with each other for 15 hours at a stretch and a shared commitment to participatory democracy. The woman who volunteers her garage is also part of our 'team'. We usually go to set up our equipment the night before so that everything starts off as smoothly as possible. My co-poll-workers have known about my book since I started working on it a couple of years ago, and I brought a copy to my inspector this evening. She actually shrieked. Of course, when people say, "I'm writing a book", it's like saying "I'm writing a screenplay" here in Los Angeles, so I think the fact that it has actually materialized was rather shocking. But it was great to be able to share it with my compadres.
In a way, it's almost like Christmas Eve - not in the way of expecting fabulous presents the next day, but in the contemplation of the fact that something momentous will be happening tomorrow. Certainly this will be the busiest election I've ever worked the polls for. We've honed our routine over the past couple years, and I hope it pays off tomorrow. I hope the crowds aren't too big to handle, and that we have the resources we need.
One thing I do know, is that as far as our little polling place, every vote will get counted at our end.