I have lots of thoughts on the election, of course, none of them particularly deep, and perhaps most of them simply marvelling at what it is like to vote in a mostly African-American neighborhood in the South, which is where I live.  I never encountered lines or had any problems voting in Illinois and Wisconsin, where I voted in any number of elecitons at all levels.  But here it is, inevitably, always something.  I am tempting to see it as pure incompentence, given Occam's razor and all of that.  But the consistency of it, time and again, and the universality of it across districts, and the obvious historical roots, they are just nagging, aren't they?

I didn't actually have to wait that long. I had friends in other demographically similar districts in other parts of town who waited in line for 4 hours.  At an hour-plus I got off relatively easy.

I was not surprised that the poll was set up so that we all had to wait out in the cold (and it was cold on election day, especially by Norfolk standards) and the gym we voted in was set up in a way to maximize under-utilized space so that all the people in line were left outside

I was interested though that when I walked in I tripped over the power strip that was powering the whole operation.  A single strip from which all the other plugs ran.  It was plugged into the wall next to the line. I borrowed some duct tape and taped down the cord. But I kind of wonder what would have happened to all the voters and the votes if this plug was removed?

Overall I am definitely free of the irrational, ultimately unfounded, and totally uncharacteristic optimism that burbled up in me four years ago. At the time I not only said but actually felt optimistic about the direction of the country, or at least its potential direction.

How liberating to be back in fully sound mind and free of all of that optimism and hope, cloying and clotting as it is, and to be facing things as they are and as they inevitably will be.

A student of mine from last year stopped by to shoot the breeze about the election and started the conversation by asking "what can we expect in the next four years."  I had no answer, just some guesses, and none that I want to be held to.

That said, I am filled with vaguely contented thoughts about how this all turned out.

I am especially pleased with the results in Virginia.  I liked Kaine as a governor fairly well, and am just pleased as punch that George Allen has been nullified. 

More locally, it is worth noting that my Representative Bobbie Scott received a Soviet-like 83% of the vote.  So gerrymandering helps some Dems too.


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