I read this account on Josh Marshall's website of one person working the early voting in Florida and I have to say it made my heart skip a few beats. Read and believe in the possibility of a better America.
Received yesterday from a reader down in the 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 theyre crazily jammed. Crazily. No one expected this turnout. For me, its been a deeply humbling, deeply gratifying experience. At todays early vote in the College Hill district of East Tampa -- a heavily democratic, 90% African American community 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 theyre in line by 5, they can vote).
Heres 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 ( [ed.note: Here the letter writer describes various shenanigans intended to exacerbate the difficulties of waiting hours in line to vote. Ive 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 thats in place doesnt 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: When I first started I wasnt 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 its actually gonna be heard.
To see people coming out elderly, disabled, blind, poor; people who have to hitch rides, take buses, etc and then staying in line for hours and hours and hours... Well, its humbling. And its awesome. And its kind of beautiful.
Sometimes you forget what America is.
I think theres hope.
Nothing to add ...
-- Josh Marshall