Being a new American citizen, this is my first election to vote in. What an election to choose (well it wasn't that much of a choice for me as becoming a citizen is a lengthy process)! Nonetheless I did have the choice to apply for citizenship and I am excited that I am now part of the American political process, for better or worse. As far as I remember the last time I voted in something equivalent was when Margaret Thatcher's Conservative Party won the UK general elections and Margaret became Prime Minister. That was more than a few years ago! I have been impatient for this whole election to be over and so I voted last Friday at an advance voting location. I have to say that despite the one hour wait it turned out to be a very pleasant experience.
When I arrived at the advance voting location and joined the line I had no clue what the wait time would be. However, the couple who stepped up to join the line after me, and others in front, who all joined in the conversation, soon let me know that the wait would be about an hour. OK, that was a little longer than I'd expected - I'd been thinking more about 30 minutes would be a reasonable wait. Since I was already there and had no clue what the lines would be like today, on election day, it seemed easier to wait it out. I'm glad I did because I was able to take part in my good deed for the day.
Soon after I began waiting I noticed an elderly couple - the lady was in a wheelchair and the gentleman who was pushing her wheelchair was looking at the line with a perplexed expression on his face. Their voting cards were sticking out of the gentleman's front shirt pocket. They looked at the line for a few minutes then moved off to stop at some benches for a rest. The lady behind me, who was obviously a very friendly kind of person, and I began to talk about this couple. "Surely someone nearer the front would let them into the line!", I exclaimed. My line neighbor said she'd go off and talk with them. She relayed to them that they were welcome to go in front of us and to just sit on the benches until we were close to the front. Thus began a very pleasant chance to converse with some American neighbors.
At this point I'd be hard-pushed to say exactly what we talked of, but for that 40 or so minutes, while we waited to cast our votes and exercise what is arguably our most important right as citizens, it didn't matter who the candidates were, or how we were going to vote, we simply enjoyed the camaraderie of some fellow human beings.
As the results come in tonight I hope that each of us will be able to think of the fact that we are all imperfect human beings on a quest to do our best for ourselves, our families, our friends and neighbors, and our country. May all of the next President's mistakes be small ones!