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Backlit, the scene inside the polling station feels even more grandiose.

The pageantry of election day

I really enjoy voting. I know that my individual vote is insignificant, and even had I been a Floridian in 2000, it wouldn't have mattered. But unlike jury duty, mowing the lawn on the other side of the sidewalk or plugging parking meters, voting is the one civic duty that still fires me up.

This morning's trip to the polls was faster than I expected. I waited until 9 a.m. to show up at the South Shore Pavilion, and my total wait lasted no more than 25 minutes. As I left, however, the line had started to stretch outside the building. I guess I got lucky.

I enjoy seeing a community coming together to chart the nation's future. I only recognized a few people, but I was heartened by watching neighbors greet each other in line. I admire the unpaid election workers who selflessly put in a long day. I respect that passionate voters aren't acting violent or intimidating or obnoxious. All that is water under the bridge now; today is the day for casting our votes.

Of course, the real fun begins when the first polls start closing. Some Eastern states will wrap up at 6 p.m. our time, and then it's just a matter of time before the networks start projecting winners. Since 2004, we've watched the polls close with our friends Pat and Holly, and tonight will be no different.

We're bringing the champagne, Pat's making the fondue. And we'll watch. And wait. And cheer. And groan.

I'm heartened that so many Americans involved themselves in this election, and no matter who takes the prize, when our citizens vote, every wins. Happy election day, Milwaukee.

Talkbacks

brunocarlson | Nov. 4, 2008 at 10:44 p.m. (report)

Andy, I hope the party went well and no one spilled the fondue on the furniture while cheering or standing up in shock.

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chksng19 | Nov. 4, 2008 at 4:33 p.m. (report)

Insignificant? NEVER! My ex failed to vote some years ago in Kenosha; our candidate tied the competition. They cut a deck of cards for the final choice, and our person lost. He could have won, had she voted. One vote is NOT insignificant... besides, if you don't vote, you can't complain.

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brunocarlson | Nov. 4, 2008 at 3:36 p.m. (report)

Seriously, after the 2000 election "process," the wind sort of left my patriotic election thoughts. No more was there the democratic process or even some sort of vote off. Just some appointed officials deciding who will run the country. I feel no matter the outcome, a candidate, election "observer," or a anti-(insert candidate's name) will scream foul and ruin this process of a free, democratic election. Just saying, it could happen, but I am happy to have been a part of this and every other election.

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brunocarlson | Nov. 4, 2008 at 3:32 p.m. (report)

Sweet Election Party at the Tarnoff's! Frozen pizza and Mr. Pibb with the dog, I think.

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megster37 | Nov. 4, 2008 at 2:18 p.m. (report)

While I appreciate this article on the importance of voting, it's never fair to say that your one vote doesn't matter. IT ALWAYS MATTERS. It may be a little daunting to compare on a national issue, but on local issues it often boils down to a few hundred votes. Milwaukee has a very important parks and transit funding referendum on the ballot today and it would be a shame for people not to voice their opinion on that because they didn't think their vote mattered.

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