At 7:30 on election morning, we walked to our local polling place in the elementary school, past the "Vote Aqui" signs, past the bake sale moms, the cellophaned chocolate chip Frisbees and into the voting area. The elderly near-sighted, hard-of-hearing, darling polling ladies found our names. We signed the right spaces, went into the booth and voted. I love yanking that riverboat-sized lever that registers my votes. We walked out. It took about five minutes.
Last year we went to vote at 6 a.m., joined the end of a huge, line snaking down the block, dark morning air dotted with puffs of steam from coffee. Inside the packed, bikram muggy voting area, we were sent from one table to the next, stood in more lines and finally voted for Barack Obama. It took about an hour. It was just getting light as we left.
What a year it has been. No doubt you have your own ups and downs for your personal political highlights reel. When I view my own reel it seems to go into slo-mo on gay issues at first with Rick Warren, DADT and DOMA dallying, but then speeds up with the signing of the Hate Crimes bill and the lifting of the HIV immigration ban. I used the split screen function for economy, environment and education highlights. Obama's got a lot going on. I spliced in a lot of art, music, vegetable garden, and Michelle footage. Lots of Michelle highlights. There's too much quagmire footage.
I'm waiting to hear how my brother Bill did in his re-election bid to his city council in PA and for LGBT news from Kalamazoo, Washington and Maine. The governor's race in NJ is too close to call. Our mayor's audacious bid for a third term seems a done deal.
But mostly I am remembering last Election Day, stomach in knots, approaching-avoiding exit poll news, obsessively cleaning. That night at a friend's house we watched, stunned as Barack Hussein Obama hit the required electoral count and heard the city erupt around us. Today a year after that historic election night, I realize I am happy to be a year into the Obama administration.