This morning, Jeff and I cast our votes, his first as a resident of the Commonwealth of Virginia. We waited on line a little over two hours to do so. I was musing at one point with the guy behind me that I should make up shirts to sell on CafePress tomorrow with the wording “I stood in line two hours to vote, and all I got was this lousy President”–given the closeness of this election, whatever the outcome nearly half the country would be potential customers.
Despite the minor frustrations–a line for “A-K” last names that moved about four people for every one from our “L-Z” line; two broken touchscreen voting machines out of five until just as we reached the front of the line anyway; a guy behind us who couldn’t stop talking for five minutes; discovering that nearly everyone around me working for private industry was getting two hours off to vote while my employer, the federal government, was giving just 45 minutes–I was elated to see the heavy turnout, which stretched just as far out the door at 10:30 when we left as it had at 8:10 when we arrived. It was also nice to see a huge number of young twenty-somethings there to vote, though I was a little dismayed to see so many of them with the yellow GOP sample ballots (Arlington is perhaps the most liberal, Democratic county in the state), though many of them, to be fair, seemed to be picking up the materials from both parties as they arrived. On the other hand, while at the polling center, I did see five other gay men from my condo building, including my ex and his partner.
So I’ve done my civic duty. Now I bite my nails and wait. A Kerry win means I don’t have to leave the country; I hope that the fact that I didn’t get around to renewing my passport earlier this year doesn’t come back to haunt me.