I've been very interested in the political process and enjoyed discussing the campaigns of years past with friends. This time, though, we're facing an election in a battleground state-something we've never experienced before. The barrage of negative ads for months spurred me to act.
I don't have money to contribute, but I do have time. I volunteered last month at Obama headquarters and made phone calls. Today, I pounded pavement and canvassed neighborhoods locally. It was solitary work, but fulfilling.
There is much that went through my head in the four hours I was enjoying the sunny skies and 80 degree temperatures. Future blog posts, mental 'to do' lists, and wondering what pretty color my broken toe was at that very moment.
Every once in a while, I encountered someone who was actually home, puttering in the yard. Save one, all were happy to see who I was doing the work for. The one? He was trying to rile me up by making some snarky comments, but I just thanked him for making his voice heard by voting. I don't think it was what he expected.
No, at times like this, I hear the voice of my 10th grade history teacher in my head, reciting the words of Voltaire "I do not agree with what you say, but I defend to the death your right to say it." I'd rather know that this man went out and exercised his right to vote than hear his complaints that he didn't like who was in office, but didn't choose.
The chats with fellow Obama supporters were nearly all the same-almost everyone voted early. One young gentleman told of his Vote No on 2 and Obama sign being stolen out of his yard last night. What's strange is that he lives in the back of a quiet, dead end neighborhood and others had the same signs in their yards.
He was one of the few who hadn't voted early. He told me that that local polling place usually doesn't have a wait and is so small that they manage with four voting machines. This year, they've beefed it up to eight. He's perfectly willing to wait an hour, if that's what happens this time.
When I returned to the canvass headquarters, I grabbed one of the signs and drove back over to his neighborhood. Sure, it's only one day, but this election meant enough to him that he wanted to show his support. He was surprised to see me pull up and happy to have a new sign. I wish I could have replaced the Vote No on 2 sign.
I'm heading back out for another canvass tomorrow. It'll be a full day. I'm glad for the insomnia that robs me of a full night's sleep, because tomorrow will be a late one...