Tuesday, November 02, 2004

I love Detroit

Nobody knows how the election will turn out. But in advance of any such knowledge, let me say that today has been beautiful.

Dennis Clark and I were poll monitors at the Emerson School in Detroit, with Election Protection. In a 95%-black polling place where 600 people had turned out for Gore in 2000, about 1100 turned out for Kerry. Despite the two-hour wait in the morning, most people toughed it out and stayed the whole time. There were 2 precincts in the same polling place, and I did most of the work of directing the voters to their precincts, helping everything go smoothly.

One of our jobs was to redirect voters who had come to the wrong polling place, and tell them where they were supposed to vote. Unfortunately, the 1-866-our-vote hotline was too busy and it took forever to get through. So I decided to call my sister and have her look up people's correct polling locations on the internet. Thanks to her efforts, as many as 4 people were successfully redirected.

It was also really nice to talk to lots of the people in the neighborhood, hear their reactions to political issues, and get a sense of how they relate to each other. I don't spend much time in urban majority-black communities, and I was glad to spend much of a day chatting with their local activists.

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