Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Voting in Irving Texas

I voted in Irving, Texas today just before lunch. There were only two people in line in front of me at the time, which surprised me. The pollworker I spoke with said that there had been lines at times through the mornings, but that much of the morning was light.

I have not voted in this precinct before, so I don't have a point of reference from past elections. In any event, it is just one precinct among thousands across the country. However, I wonder if all of the talk about record turnout based on early voting may be misguided. Early voting, other than for truly absentee voters, is a relatively new concept, and it appears that many people are for the first time taking advantage of the opportunity. Many early voters are not new voters -- they are they same ones that always vote, but they previously waited for this day.

While that makes voting easier, it also means that election day is no longer the communal event that it once was. Modernity is quite good at tearing down communal traditions for the sake of individual convenience, so many people won't think twice about this, but I think something has been lost.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Geesh, get a life! Sniff sniff! I hope you didn't waste too much kleenex on that one.

6:50 PM  
Blogger Lanette said...

Agreeably, anonymous made no sense. However, you base community experiences in long lines? I don't know what it was like for you in Nashville, but here in Texas, I have never seen any kind of community arising from having to stand in line whether it be at the polls, the grocery store, or the DMV.

6:49 AM  
Blogger MCO said...

I was not seeing community in long lines, but in the mystical bands found in the workplaces, diners, and coffee houses of a nation that as a whole all went to vote on a single day.

7:26 AM  
Blogger Lanette said...

The real loss of community is in the diners, coffee houses, beauty shops, and hardware stores.

Several years ago I had the wonderful opportunity of experiencing what it must have been like. I was in a small east Texas town, and for some reason, I went into the hardware store with the two friends I was with, and there were old men talking, drinking coffee, and in the middle of the store, a chess board was set up. I felt the nostalgia for something I had never grown up with but always felt as if I should have, and I was sorry to leave to return to modern civilization.

8:23 AM  

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