I have my safety cartoon done for tomorrow's page (the 3AM phone call, below), so I came to the office midafternoon to begin the hurry-up-and-wait ritual of election night at the newspaper. Returns won't be announced until the polls close at 7:30 and it's unlikely we'll have any sort of drawable conclusions by my 10PM deadline, but it's fun to get the adrenalin pumping by hanging around the swirl of activity in the newsroom and hoping to draw something live and fresh for tomorrow's paper. And hey, free pizza.
My daughter and I were the first two voters at our precinct this morning. It was Chelsea's first time voting and she'll always remember that she got ballot #001 in her first election. The ballot itself was anticlimactic -- after marking our presidential preferences there was only one contested race on the rest of our ballot (between two people we'd never heard of), and then the zoo levy on the back. The poor poll worker's team hadn't arrived yet, so he fumbled through the process alone. My daughter probably has a pretty distorted sense of democracy in action after this one.
Nonetheless, I find voting exhilarating for reasons I can't explain. And voting with my daughter ranks right up there with watching her find her balance on her first bike. She's confident and passionate now and knows the candidates and issues as well as most people I know. I've raised two thoughtful voters now, and I feel just that much better about the future of our country.
I'll be blogging and posting sketches here throughout the evening if you care to tune in.