Tuesday 4 November 2008

Election week - election number one

I'm getting increasingly excited about the US Presidential Elections. I love elections; I even started getting into the re-runs on BBC Parliament, but after staying up all night for the disaster that was the 2000 US vote I kind of lost interest in what goes on across the pond. This time, for so many reasons, it's different. Watching the constant coverage is also making my head run off in dozens of different ways.

Can Obama really pull it off? Will there be an earthquake in American politics? Will change really happen?

I was incredibly pleased to see the queues of people waiting patiently to vote, even in the days running up to the election. Good for them. I stood waiting to engage with voters at a polling station in Glasgow East for hours as a trickle of people came in; the ones who came were determined, but they were few. I love the "vote and bring a friend" thing too, though clearly, bringing a like-minded friend is important!

I was fascinated by the stories on the BBC
liveblog of the voting confusion. Fair enough, there was confusion at the Scottish Parliament and Council elections last year, but the principle of how you vote here is fairly simple - how did the USA manage to make things so complicated? Punch ballots, computerised voting, and things like the returning officer equivalent leaving ballot papers in her car. We seem to have this election thing running fairly well - what's wrong with putting a mark in a box on a bit of paper?

I'm hoping to stay up all night to watch the results come in. Then I'll go and campaign in Glenrothes!

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