Ever notice that bars and liquor stores are closed on Election Day? You can blame/thank Edgar Allan Poe. He died on Election Day in Baltimore. He lived in New York. He was a drunk, and scholars speculate that he was gathered up with other drunks on Election Day and taken to another city to vote, several times.
Here in Texas, on primary day, we vote twice. First with a ballot. Then with our feet. The Texas Two Step. At every precinct, after the polls close at 7pm, and all voters have voted, you can vote again by attending a caucus, or properly, a Precinct Convention.
Yesterday, I contributed to the democratic process by attending the caucus at my precinct. This was my second caucus. The first was in 1984, and I stood for Jesse Jackson. Me and about seven other people. Last night was a bit different. First, there was a crowd. Second, we had to wait until almost 8pm to enter the precinct. Then we had to wait in another line to sign in for our candidate.
I went prepared with my voter registration card, my iPod, and a sock-in-progress. I expected a short wait in a hard chair in overheated room. Instead, there was a long wait, standing up, outside. There was a lot of chatting, but no knitting. I heard a very tall man telling a group that he was the chair for this precinct in 2004, and six people attended the caucus that year, which was a good turn out. I heard people on cell phones talking to other people in the same crowd. A young woman next to me had a sleeping infant, with a Hillary sticker on his onesy. About 30 minutes before they let us in, a woman with a couple of small kids pushed her way through the crowd towards the door. She repeated in a loud voice that the kids had tests tomorrow, and that they needed to get home to study, therefore she should get inside before anyone else. She didn’t get very far. She didn’t seem to understand that her kids were experiencing democracy in action. We all were. It was very exciting.