Received yesterday from a reader down in the <$NoAd$>trenches ...
Still in Florida.
This was one of the most moving, meaningful days of my life.
My job is to get people to the polls and, more importantly, to keep them there. Because theyâre crazily jammed. Crazily. No one expected this turnout. For me, itâs been a deeply humbling, deeply gratifying experience. At todayâs early vote in the College Hill district of East Tampa -- a heavily democratic, 90% African American community â we had 879 voters wait an average of five hours to cast their vote. People were there until four hours after they closed (as long as theyâre in line by 5, they can vote).
Hereâs what was so moving:
We hardly lost anyone. People stood outside for an hour, in the blazing sun, then inside for another four hours as the line snaked around the library, slowly inching forward. It made Disneyland look like speed-walking. Some waited 6 hours. To cast one vote. And EVERYBODY felt that it was crucial, that their vote was important, and that they were important.
And there were tons of first time voters. Tons.
Aside from some hassles from the Republican election commissioner ( â¦ [ed.note: Here the letter writer describes various shenanigans intended to exacerbate the difficulties of waiting hours in line to vote. Iâve censored this detail to preserve the anonymity of the writer.], I actually had an amazing experience. No, actually, in a way because of that I had an amazing experience. Because these people know that the system thatâs in place doesnât want them voting. And yet they are determined to vote.
The best of all was an 80 year old African American man who said to me: âWhen I first started I wasnât even allowed to vote. Then, when I did, they was trying to intimidate me. But now I see all these folks here to make sure that my vote counts. This is the first time in my life that I feel like when I cast my vote itâs actually gonna be heard.â
To see people coming out â elderly, disabled, blind, poor; people who have to hitch rides, take buses, etc â and then staying in line for hours and hours and hours... Well, itâs humbling. And itâs awesome. And itâs kind of beautiful.
Sometimes you forget what America is.
I think thereâs hope.
Nothing to add ...