Nov
04
2008

Election Day

It’s Election Day in the U.S., and I’m going to climb a volcano.
Actually, I’m going to postpone that so that I can glue myself to the television to watch the returns come in.

After looking around a bit I found a great little hotel that has everything I need for very cheap (80 Q/night, about $11). All I was looking for was something cheap, which is not easy to find in Antigua. But this place is more than cheap – every room has a cable television, with lots of American channels – including CNN! AND, Wi-Fi! Really no reason to leave the hotel, other than to eat. šŸ™‚ Oh, on that front – there is a kitchen we can use if we want to prepare our own meals! [Sounds like a hostel, except it’s a lot nicer and 40Q cheaper than the actual hostel I spent one night in.] The family that runs it is very sweet, too.

Anyway, back to politics. Everyone I’ve talked to the past few weeks brings up the U.S. election (I mean locals, not just fellow travelers). It’s enlightening to see how in touch the rest of the world is with U.S. politics.. because, well, it actually affects them a great deal. Or as one person put it, “this election is too important to be left to the Americans”. I wish we had mandatory voting laws like in most countries.
Everyone I meet checks to make sure I’m for Obama. “Obama is for the poor people, McCain is for the rich people”, I’ve heard often.

One of the rich locals I met (more on her later) is an active member of Democrats Abroad, which does a lot of work for ex-pats – making sure they’re registered, assists them in voting, organizing drives, etc.
For example, Jessica is a resident of Ohio, so her vote is vital (unlike mine, which is worthless – being a resident of NY state, which is guaranteed to go Obama). Jessica had requested an absentee ballot, but it never arrived. So Democrats Abroad picked up the cause and got her a ballot and had it postmarked by today. Most likely the election will be called by the time the ballot reaches Ohio, but just in case this turns into another Florida 2000, she made sure to cast her lot.

Guess what? There is no Republicans Abroad. I guess all the Republicans stay at home with their guns and religion. Seriously, traveling opens the mind and lets light shine on all those boogeyman fears that right-wingers hold so dear. I don’t think it would be possible to travel for very long without giving up a lot of those notions.

I’ll be watching the returns along with you, with baited breath… Give me a call (or send an e-mail) if you want to chat.

Many more posts and photos coming in the next few days. I’ve decided to chill in Antigua until the end of the week in order to get things organized and wait for my friends to be ready to travel. But that’s another story to come…

2 Comments »

  • ChloĆ« says:

    Nice! Though i’m looking at it on my iPhone as I stand in line to vote! So I’m not getting the full screen experience. I’ve just caught up with the blog, haven’t read it for a couple of weeks I think…good to “catch up”. This line is awesome! I’ve never ever seen so many people here. H ave you left school? Does your phone still work? Xoxo czb

  • Emma says:

    Heyya! I like the new look of the blog!

    It is 9:30 pm, and OHIO has been called for Obama!! And Pennsylvania was at 8:45. OMG. I was seriously worried about vote suppression and bad machines / no machines etc. I did some phonecalling to NH and VA and then ran to vote at 7:45, no line. I think the huge turnout may help our local issue to ban greyhound racing. And decrim small bits of mj…
    xoxo
    I’m glad you’re doing well,& more later.
    Love
    Emma

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