On this Election Day 2012 in the United States, I’m going to divert briefly from my typical math education posts to share my experiences at my local polling place.
Especially today, I’m so unbelievably proud to be American.
I got to my local polling station pretty early to cast my ballot so I could get to school in time for the beginning of the day. By the time I left, the line was easily 5ish times longer than when I arrived, and it snaked through a few different rooms in the building before winding outside into the cold rain and wind with voters all along cheerfully waiting their turn to be part of the process. The poll workers strove to get everyone through quickly and efficiently. The voters were civil and seemed generally honored to have the opportunity to be part of the decision-making process in deciding the next iteration of our government.
Our country and political process certainly has its warts, but at least on this day, in my part of Atlanta, we set aside our differences and were civil, respectful, and hopeful as we made our collective voices heard.
I ran into two seniors from my school on my way out; they were thrilled to be taking part in their first election.
Whatever the election results after today, I hope we all can remember the respect and determination of every person in that polling line.
In one small place today, we were a better people.