As an aside from this blogs usual posting about knitting and making art, I wanted to tell you all about a wonderful, heartwarming experience I had this morning.
It is pouring down rain in Birmingham, Alabama. The hard, driving kind of rain that keeps people inside of their homes. But there was a line outside my polling place when I showed up to vote at 7:00 a.m. My neighbors. My friends. African-Americans, asians, hispanics, white people, people with two, three, and four children in tow. It looked like America.
In Jefferson County, Alabama, where I live, we have seen some ugly campaigning this cycle. Slick Washington operatives poured resources and personnel into what I would have thought were races of only local interest — races like Alan King’s, the probate judge. The probate judge is the person in charge of determining which votes get counted in an election. King’s opponent used racial hatemongering and outright lies over the last few days in a last-ditch effort to beat a candidate with far superior experience and qualifications.
Other elected officials — people from both parties — brought the truth about the false allegations made against Alan King to light. I received email after email in the last few days from people eager to insure that their friends knew that King’s opponent tried to pull a fast one. I expect the voters here will return Judge King to office with a high margin of support. It might seem innocuous, but I’m proud to live in a community where elected officials choose telling voters the truth over party affiliation.
Last night, one of our neighbors came over to talk with us about the candidates and the issues. We had a great time together. He had already been to visit two other friends who knew some of the candidates. Another friend mentioned she was researching judicial races before voting.
This morning, I had the chance to vote for a highly qualified woman to be Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court and an equally qualified African-American jurist to take a seat beside her on the court. I looked around me and saw my neighbors voting. The line was even longer when I left than when I came in. Whether it’s raining or not where you are, I hope you will go and vote!