I spent all day yesterday as an election judge. What a job! I was at our voting place at 6am to help set everything up: hang signs, organize information for new registrations, and do whatever needed to be done.
There were people waiting in line when I got there and there was an enormous line by 7 am when the polls opened. It was out the door, around the parking lot, up to the street! We had a solid, unending line for 2 1/2 hours straight before it calmed down. It was a good thing.
Minnesota is one of just a few states that allows same day registration on voting day. We also allow vouching - so if you don't have the proper ID, someone who knows you and where you live can vouch for you. We had people registering to vote all day long! Over 200 just for our precinct. Some had to re-register because they had moved, but there were also many newly-turned 18 year olds and some older folks who had never voted before.
It was an incredible thing to see the neighborhood and community turn out like that, all so eager to vote. Of course, I have heard that our neighborhood is quite active and politically involved, within a state that has one of the highest voter turnouts. So that's a good feeling.
The polls closed at 8:00 with just a few voters left filling in the bubbles. We started the clean-up process, reconciling everything, counting absentee ballots, and running the final tally for our precinct. At 9:30 I was finally released from my long day and I wearily trudged home.
We had heard a rumor or two about what states Obama might have won (after 8:00 of course) but I didn't know anything. I suppose in a way I didn't want to know, fearful of bad news. So I went straight to bed when I got home. Sometime after 10:00 we started hearing cheering, hollering, whistling, cars honking, some firecrackers, and a general sense of celebration! Jeremy and I jumped out of bed to check the internet. And there it was: Obama wins!!
We were so excited. It was hard to go back to bed.