Tuesday morning I got up bright and early to go vote. I had previously decided that I would hit the polls in the morning and get it done, no matter how long it took. I walked across the center to my polling place at 6:50 AM, and already there were about 100 people there, waiting to vote as well. The line went from the building, down the sidewalk, and wrapped around the corner, there were lots of people there. I got in line and chatted up some of the people around me, including one woman who looked at my sample ballot so she could see the ballot questions. The guy in front of me was planning to vote and then go volunteer for the Obama campaign in Virginia.
After about a 45 minute wait in line, I was finally in the building, down the hall and into the gym, where I would finally get to vote. I got my form, gave the card to the judge, and they turned the machine on. Before I started, I said a prayer, that the voting machine would count my vote and everyone else's vote accurately. I made my choices, checked them a few times to make sure they were correct, said another prayer, then cast my vote.
I walked out of there, and headed to work, where between doing work I kept in touch with some friends to find out what they were seeing/hearing. I got an invite from one to watch the results roll in and make plans to head up their way. After work I change, run some errands, then head up to watch results roll in.
I get there and settle in watching MSNBC as they start calling some of the states who closed at 8 PM. As it was, Obama was in the lead, and they were announcing that Elizabeth Dole had lost her senatorial bid. One of my friends in New Mexico was doing exit polling and sent a tweet that she had no Internet so she needed election updates. I would throw her the occasional bit of news as the night would go on. There was lots of talking and analysis on our end as more states were called, all of us guessing the results for the next states to come in. For me I was on pins and needles because Virginia was too close to call for a few hours and so were some other states. I was also watching Arizona with interest because the numbers had narrowed, and 2 hours after their polls had closed, the state still hadn't been called for either candidate.
Besides talking with friends, there was many a text going by my phone from friends as we watched the states turn. Obama still held onto a pretty good lead, and that's when we started speculating that he had a very good chance of winning. If he could clinch Florida or Ohio, he would win, simply because we knew that California, Oregon, and Washington would go to him as well.
Shock of all shocks, MSNBC calls Ohio for Obama, then Virginia, then Florida. We get very excited because now it looks inevitable, Obama is going to be our next president. Two minutes after the polls close in CA, OR, and WA, MSNBC comes on and says that Obama is now our next President of the United States. Now we have all flipped out, we did it, we got the president we wanted. My phone starts blowing up with text messages from others who have just witnessed the news. We are all ecstatic that Obama is the president elect. Eventually McCain gives his concession speech. I have to say that is supporters are a bunch of dicks, booing every time Obama's name came up. No class at all.
Finally we got to see Obama make his speech. I was just in awe as I listened because Obama had a very classy speech, and his supporters were not a bunch of dickheads. I was floored when he actually mentioned gay voters in his speech, and laughed when he mentioned getting a puppy for his daughters. It was just such a great moment, especially to see everyone celebrating the Obama win.
What a great night, I could have stayed up all night, but I had work in the morning, so it was home and then off to bed.
History was made Tuesday night, and I got to participate in it just by the simple act of voting.