By Steve Kelman

Blog archive

Thoughts on election day

I arrived at our polling place in historic Concord, Massachusetts, just as the polls were opening at 7 am. (I need to teach this morning, and right afterwards I leave for Washington to do election commentary in Swedish for Swedish TV -- the two biggest networks there are actually running live election coverage all night long, Swedish time. So I will need to be available to be on the air from 5 pm to 4 am in the morning our time, to go through their breakfast morning show!)

When I arrived at the polling place, about 40 people were waiting in line. This compares to perhaps 10 or so at a similar time when I last voted for president in 2004. It was virtually impossible to find a parking space! The mood was very friendly. Concord is a small town, and lots of people know each other and said hi. People shared stories about their kids while waiting. A number of people independently joked that they had come early "to beat the crowds." It was cold -- I would say low 40's -- but very sunny, and, with most of the leaves on the trees, it was a day for voting out of a Norman Rockwell print.

The process went fast. There were a lot of voting machines. Even with 40 people in line, I was done within 10 minutes, faster than I expected. I even had time to walk to the commuter rail station rather than driving!

On the train, I set next to a fellow-reader of the salmon-colored British paper, The Financial Times. I showed him my copy, and made a comment about "the few, the proud, the Financial Times readers." He said he liked their editorials better than The Wall Street Journal. He then proudly took out of his briefcase his copy of this week's Economist (which I hadn't seen yet, because I've been out of the office), and said, "Look, they endorsed Obama."

I know this blog has a number of international readers, including some from China, so I want to say especially to them that it was a very nice experience to join with tens of millions of other Americans to vote.

Posted by Steve Kelman on Nov 04, 2008 at 12:10 PM


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