More Election Day stories from readers

A drive through deep red northern Georgia, early birds in Virginia still have to wait in line and a spot of confusion in North Carolina.

Topics:

Thanks so much to everyone who’s sent in your story from Election Day; they were all wonderful reads, and we’re sorry we can’t post more of them. Here are two very different letters — one from the other side of the pond. There are three more after the jump.

From Montgomery, Alabama:

I’m a 59-year old white guy who votes at a “predominantly black” voting place. Both campaigns regarded Alabama as inevitably Republican.When I think about it there was little point in casting my vote for Obama here. There is no realistic hope of overtaking the McCain flood or grabbing any electoral votes for O. Still, I’m happy I did it.

I’ve lived here my whole life. I remember my Dad explaining the Montgomery Bus Boycott to me when I was six years old and it was going on all around us. The Freedom Riders took their licks at the Greyhound Bus Station downtown here when I was around 12 years old, and the Selma-to-Montgomery march ended on Monroe Street here when I was 15. My daughters are 13 and 15 like Obama’s and I wonder if they will ever understand what happened back then and what today means. Maybe they won’t and maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe it’s even the point.

From Hamburg, Germany:

We cannot vote here in Germany but today all over Europe and the rest of the world a lot of people are anxiously looking to the US. Will Obama make it? While most of us think he is ahead, there are nagging doubts. Will the Republicans in some way pull off a last minute stunt that will guarantee an electoral college majority for McCain?

We have a hard time understanding the high obstacles for voting in your elections. Is today normal workday? We vote on Sundays. Why are waiting lines as long as those in third world countries? This is strange for us. Why is it that you have actively to register to vote?

We are well aware that American presidents have a high impact on our life – you bet Dubya did. Thus, we feel somewhat powerless. The only certainty over here is that we feel uncertain..

From Chesterfield County VA:

I live in the Salem Church precinct and my husband and I went to the polls this morning at 5:40. Even though the polls weren’t opening until 6:00, there were people in line already and parking was a BIT of a challenge.

When the polls opened at the line went quickly. A voting official said that the computers to validate IDs had some issues at first but that technicians fixed the problem immediately. One of the officials was walking around saying’ “Good Morning and welcome to America.” That was cool. Folks seemed very excited and willing to wait — also cool!

We voted and were numbers 249 and 250 to cast our ballots. There were hundreds behind. We were home by 7:00.



From Northern Georgia:

Today is unseasonably warm in Deep Red North Georgia, so I had my convertible top down as I drove the hour of backroads between my home in Big Canoe and the Atlanta suburb of Alpharetta where I work.

Traffic around the three polling stations I passed was heavy enough that I had to slow down and got to see what was going o.

At 6:45am, the first station (Ball Ground, GA) was jammed; the sizeable

parking lot was packed and volunteers had been deployed to redirect peopleto ad-hoc overflow parking. Further down the road, 7:02am, a repeat. A larger parking lot, also overflown.

I got to count stickers on the parked and parking cars; a little

over half McCain-Palin, the rest Obama. In line, waiting voters were

talking and laughing, friendly with each other; I couldn’t hear what theywere saying but you could make an educated guess about who was supporting who, and this didn’t seem to be producing any friction.

Third stop, 7:18am. Traffic stopped dead as volunteers try to find spots for the fleet of incoming pick-em-up trucks. People standing outside talking loud on their cell phones, plenty of laughter. Lots of exchanges between people who body language says don’t know each other, fashion analysis says probably didn’t vote the same way. Enthusiasm and energy, but not too many signs of frustration with the process or enmity about differing choices.

A few years ago, a school teacher I know had to abandon her efforts to

organize a local chapter of North Georgia Democrats due to death threats, vandalism and such. There was no sign of that kind of thing here today, which is probably the best news there is. Despite the bare knuckles that flew in this election, it may be that we’ll actually come together as a country after all, even up in these hills.

From North Carolina:

I was working at a voting station when this older African-American woman came up to me. She asked for some help. She didn’t know the name of the man she wanted to vote for, but she could describe him.

She said he was a “light skinned guy”.

“You mean Barack Obama?” I asked.

“Yes! That’s him!”

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 11
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails

    Ten spectacular graphic novels from 2014

    Beautiful Darkness by Fabien Vehlmann & Kerascoët
    Kerascoët's lovely, delicate pen-and-watercolor art -- all intricate botanicals, big eyes and flowing hair -- gives this fairy story a deceptively pretty finish. You find out quickly, however, that these are the heartless and heedless fairies of folk legend, not the sentimental sprites beloved by the Victorians and Disney fans. A host of tiny hominid creatures must learn to survive in the forest after fleeing their former home -- a little girl who lies dead in the woods. The main character, Aurora, tries to organize the group into a community, but most of her cohort is too capricious, lazy and selfish to participate for long. There's no real moral to this story, which is refreshing in itself, beyond the perpetual lessons that life is hard and you have to be careful whom you trust. Never has ugly truth been given a prettier face.

    Ten spectacular graphic novels from 2014

    Climate Changed: A Personal Journey Through the Science by Philippe Squarzoni
    Squarzoni is a French cartoonist who makes nonfiction graphic novels about contemporary issues and politics. While finishing up a book about France under Jacques Chirac, he realized that when it came to environmental policy, he didn't know what he was talking about. "Climate Changed" is the result of his efforts to understand what has been happening to the planet, a striking combination of memoir and data that ruminates on a notoriously elusive, difficult and even imponderable subject. Panels of talking heads dispensing information (or Squarzoni discussing the issues with his partner) are juxtaposed with detailed and meticulous yet lyrical scenes from the author's childhood, the countryside where he takes a holiday and a visit to New York. He uses his own unreachable past as a way to grasp the imminent transformation of the Earth. The result is both enlightening and unexpectedly moving.

    Ten spectacular graphic novels from 2014

    Here by Richard McGuire
    A six-page version of this innovative work by a regular contributor to the New Yorker first appeared in RAW magazine 25 years ago. Each two-page spread depicts a single place, sometimes occupied by a corner of a room, over the course of 4 billion years. The oldest image is a blur of pink and purple gases; others depict hazmat-suited explorers from 300 years in the future. Inset images show the changing decor and inhabitants of the house throughout its existence: family photos, quarrels, kids in Halloween costumes, a woman reading a book, a cat walking across the floor. The cumulative effect is serene and ravishing, an intimation of the immensity of time and the wonder embodied in the humblest things.

    Ten spectacular graphic novels from 2014

    Kill My Mother by Jules Feiffer
    The legendary Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist delivers his debut graphic novel at 85, a deliriously over-the-top blend of classic movie noir and melodrama that roams from chiaroscuro Bay City to Hollywood to a USO gig in the Pacific theater of World War II. There's a burnt-out drunk of a private eye, but the story is soon commandeered by a multigenerational collection of ferocious women, including a mysterious chanteuse who never speaks, a radio comedy writer who makes a childhood friend the butt of a hit series and a ruthless dame intent on making her whiny coward of a husband into a star. There are disguises, musical numbers and plenty of gunfights, but the drawing is the main attraction. Nobody convey's bodies in motion more thrillingly than Feiffer, whether they're dancing, running or duking it out. The kid has promise.

    Ten spectacular graphic novels from 2014

    The Motherless Oven by Rob Davis
    This is a weird one, but in the nervy surreal way that word-playful novels like "A Clockwork Orange" or "Ulysses" are weird. The main character, a teenage schoolboy named Scarper Lee, lives in a world where it rains knives and people make their own parents, contraptions that can be anything from a tiny figurine stashable in a pocket to biomorphic boiler-like entities that seem to have escaped from Dr. Seuss' nightmares. Their homes are crammed with gadgets they call gods and instead of TV they watch a hulu-hoop-size wheel of repeating images that changes with the day of the week. They also know their own "death day," and Scarper's is coming up fast. Maybe that's why he runs off with the new girl at school, a real troublemaker, and the obscurely dysfunctional Castro, whose mother is a cageful of talking parakeets. A solid towline of teenage angst holds this manically inventive vision together, and proves that some graphic novels can rival the text-only kind at their own game.

    Ten spectacular graphic novels from 2014

    NOBROW 9: It's Oh So Quiet
    For each issue, the anthology magazine put out by this adventurous U.K.-based publisher of independent graphic design, illustration and comics gives 45 artists a four-color palette and a theme. In the ninth issue, the theme is silence, and the results are magnificent and full of surprises. The comics, each told in images only, range from atmospheric to trippy to jokey to melancholy to epic to creepy. But the two-page illustrations are even more powerful, even if it's not always easy to see how they pertain to the overall concept of silence. Well, except perhaps for the fact that so many of them left me utterly dumbstruck with visual delight.

    Ten spectacular graphic novels from 2014

    Over Easy by Mimi Pond
    When Pond was a broke art student in the 1970s, she took a job at a neighborhood breakfast spot in Oakland, a place with good food, splendid coffee and an endlessly entertaining crew of short-order cooks, waitresses, dishwashers and regular customers. This graphic memoir, influenced by the work of Pond's friend, Alison Bechdel, captures the funky ethos of the time, when hippies, punks and disco aficionados mingled in a Bay Area at the height of its eccentricity. The staff of the Imperial Cafe were forever swapping wisecracks and hopping in and out of each other's beds, which makes them more or less like every restaurant team in history. There's an intoxicating esprit de corps to a well-run everyday joint like the Imperial Cafe, and never has the delight in being part of it been more winningly portrayed.

    Ten spectacular graphic novels from 2014

    The Shadow Hero by Gene Luen Yang and Sonny Liew
    You don't have to be a superhero fan to be utterly charmed by Yang and Liew's revival of a little-known character created in the 1940s by the cartoonist Chu Hing. This version of the Green Turtle, however, is rich in characterization, comedy and luscious period detail from the Chinatown of "San Incendio" (a ringer for San Francisco). Hank, son of a mild-mannered grocer, would like to follow in his father's footsteps, but his restless mother (the book's best character and drawn with masterful nuance by Liew) has other ideas after her thrilling encounter with a superhero. Yang's story effortlessly folds pathos into humor without stooping to either slapstick or cheap "darkness." This is that rare tribute that far surpasses the thing it celebrates.

    Ten spectacular graphic novels from 2014

    Shoplifter by Michael Cho
    Corinna Park, former English major, works, unhappily, in a Toronto advertising agency. When the dissatisfaction of the past five years begins to oppress her, she lets off steam by pilfering magazines from a local convenience store. Cho's moody character study is as much about city life as it is about Corinna. He depicts her falling asleep in front of the TV in her condo, brooding on the subway, roaming the crowded streets after a budding romance goes awry. Like a great short story, this is a simple tale of a young woman figuring out how to get her life back, but if feels as if it contains so much of contemporary existence -- its comforts, its loneliness, its self-deceptions -- suspended in wintery amber.

    Ten spectacular graphic novels from 2014

    Through the Woods by Emily Carroll
    This collection of archetypal horror, fairy and ghost stories, all about young girls, comes lushly decked in Carroll's inky black, snowy white and blood-scarlet art. A young bride hears her predecessor's bones singing from under the floorboards, two friends make the mistake of pretending to summon the spirits of the dead, a family of orphaned siblings disappears one by one into the winter nights. Carroll's color-saturated images can be jagged, ornate and gruesome, but she also knows how to chill with absence, shadows and a single staring eye. Literary readers who cherish the work of Kelly Link or the late Angela Carter's collection, "The Bloody Chamber," will adore the violent beauty on these pages.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>