Tuesday, November 4, 2008


I thought maybe we could beat the rush.

To our surprise, at 5:55 a.m., there was a wait just to park at our local polling station, the Klondike Library here in West Lafayette, Indiana. More than 150 people had formed a line that wrapped around the building. According to public radio, similar lines were forming all across Tippecanoe County, before the polls had even opened.

I didn't early vote because I enjoy the communal process of election day, and today was no disappointment. How many times have you heard this election described as historic? Over the last 20 months, that term seems to have been blunted. But on a morning like this, the sense of history was palpable. I had never seen anything like it--enthusiastic voters, young and old, walking out of the library with a look of pride on their faces.

Polls will be at maximum capacity across the country today. These crowds can only mean good things for Obama. Let's face it, people don't wait in line for hours to put incumbent parties back in office. You could say that the voter turnout represents a thirst for change, but it's more than that--only anger would truly motivate voters to come out in such force. Americans want their country back.

Regardless of who wins, this election has breathed new life into American democracy. This election will bring millions of people into local, state and federal politics for decades to come. The American electorate in 2008 is a broader, more fully realized cross-section of American values and identities, and for that, we should all be thankful.

Many former red states will turn blue today. Here in West Lafayette, lines moved along smoothly. Voting took around 55 minutes. On the way out, the sun was rising on a beautiful Indiana morning.

How was your experience at the polls? Where did you vote? How long did you have to wait? Any predictions from your state?