I just got in from voting. In seven years of voting at the same place, I’ve never had to wait more than 30 seconds. Today the line stretched outside the gymnasium of the community center and all the way around the block. While I expected a lot of irritation or impatience — we are New Yorkers, after all — the mood was remarkably pleasant. I brought both my seven-month old daughter and her babysitter, who hails from El Salvador, with me to experience their first American election. They were both suitably impressed — Sabrina, my daughter, by the big, unwieldy lever, and Maritza, who lived through horrible political violence, by the orderly conduct of everyone inside. It was a great reminder that to vote in a democratic election is both a responsibility for the next generation and a privilege for those of us who live in a country that allows us to decide our own future.
What I’m most curious about is the impact of all of these unconventional strategies to GOTV (get out the vote). Yesterday, someone forwarded me the new Eminem video, which is storming the Internet. It’s some intense stuff — extremely anti-Bush, with an animated Eminem leading a political movement that seems to threaten armed revolution, but ends with young voters in black-hooded sweatshirts lining up-not to shoot but to vote. My guess is that this sort of thing will affect turnout more than thousands of earnest callers in Ohio phone banks. What do you think?