Tuesday, November 04, 2008

THE POLLING PLACE AND OTHER ELECTION THOUGHTS

Skinny Kitty and I headed to the polls this morning – 6:30 a.m. – with daughter in hand, to cast our vote for Barack Obama. My vote, at least, also consisted of a vote for four Republicans. (They were unopposed.) I would have voted for Roseanne Bentley (R) for County Commission regardless. She has been a great advocate for persons with disabilities and won our respect years ago. Oh, you thought we were dyed-in-the-wool Democrats? That we only vote for Democrats? You thought wrong, despite the comments you’ve read on various blogs. That’s how we roll.

We stood in line for 30 minutes. That leaves me wondering why other states have day-long lines at their voting sites. It makes no sense. And it was a record turnout. I have never seen that many people voting at my polling place before. Typically, our line, if there is a line, is 80 percent seniors and 20 percent 30-somethings. Not this year. If my polling place was any indication, the youth vote may very well hit the pavement this election. I counted at least a dozen or more 18- to 25-years-olds. College-aged kids don’t get up before 10 a.m. It was a good sign.

My daughter filled out Skinny Kitty’s ballot. For many of the races she knew who to vote for: Barack Obama, Nancy Hagan, Jim Lee, and Jay Nixon. She filled in the arrows and made it through the ballot – her first presidential ballot – and she was happy and hyper about it.

One elementary school at which I volunteer is holding a school-wide vote. In order to participate, students must register to vote in the office. Then they vote today with the rest of the country. Man, that is exciting. I wish I were teaching right now. I would make use of this election to hammer home the idea of democracy and freedom. We would read about the Constitution, develop a classroom Constitution, and compare/contrast our school data with the state and national data. How did our students vote compared to the rest of the US? We would study the biographies of the candidates and even have our own classroom election for class president and other elected officials. Students could create advertising campaigns, write speeches, slogans, and create posters. We could incorporate the curriculum into our studies and learn about the foundations of a good civilization.

We would make elections engaging, interesting and exciting, all the while learning the skills we need to be productive citizens and meet state curricular requirements.

1 comment:

Branson Missouri said...

It's the urban centers that are experiencing super long waiting times. This is good for Obama. The political machine for Obama hit super hard for months in KC and St. Louis. Lines there are hours long.