- Harlette Smith Washington: “Not even the last presidential election had this much constant traffic.”
Just before three this afternoon, a woman with a limp cast her ballot in the St. Philip Neri school gym at 72nd and Merrill and rushed through the drizzle outside to a waiting car. “That felt good!” she said. Election officials said voters had lined up well before the polls opened at 6 AM and kept coming.
Four years ago, when I spent much of Election Day trekking around neighborhoods on the south and southeast sides of the city, the excitement was palpable: people were buzzing about Barack Obama making history on the bus, outside the corner store, at the senior citizens’ home, at the crosswalk even after the light turned green.
I figured that when I went back to some of the same neighborhoods in Obama’s backyard today, the euphoria would be long gone—and I was right. But in its place was something else: a sense of commitment, a willingness to go to work and get the job done by giving the president the second term his supporters think he needs.
People were getting out to vote, with no hesitation about who they were voting for.