Tuesday, November 04, 2008

The election at last

Photo of the entry to the polling place at City Hall, Lower Burrell, PA on November 4, 2008I just got back from voting today, and was impressed by the turnout.

I am still getting used to the practice in Pennsylvania of allowing people campaigning for their candidates to work so close to the polling places. When I lived in New York and Connecticut there was always a much larger zone that was off-limits to this activity. But when I go to vote here I feel like I am running the gauntlet of campaigners all the way up the sidewalk, even to the door of City Hall.

As I look back on the last month, I don't know how many times I heard people lament that the election was not over yet. This sense of weariness with the election leaves me concerned that our two-party system (a legalized duopoly here in Pennsylvania) is failing to present the electorate with a choice of candidates who actually energize the public to participate in our democratic systems. I hope that the turnout I saw today is evidence that the choices offered really did motivate people to get out and vote.

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