From Jim Gilliam's blog archives
Determined to Vote

November 1, 2004 10:08 AM

One of Josh Marshall's readers in the trenches in Florida sent this report back on early voting:

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 they're crazily jammed. Crazily. No one expected this turnout. For me, it's been a deeply humbling, deeply gratifying experience. At today's 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 they're in line by 5, they can vote).

Here's 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.

More from the archive in Elections.

Determined to Vote (11.01.2004)

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Read the 2 comments.

Red Ghost:

Clich├ęd, I know, but... goosebumps.

Mon Nov 1 2004 4:24 PM

Dave E.:

I'm more frustrated than inspired by this.

Waiting 6 hours to vote? I can get a cheeseburger in less than 1 minute and never leave my car, but it might take me 6 hours to vote if I lived in a densely populated metropolitan city.

Very tragic, and very telling. I know the poor poll-workers are doing the best they can with what they've been provided...but shit man. That is tragic.

Mon Nov 1 2004 9:22 PM

Jim Gilliam
Jim Gilliam


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