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Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Two hours to vote in Horry County in 2008 - 8 minutes today

I planned my morning around having to stand in a voting line for at least an hour this morning, which would have been half as long as I waited in 2008 when the apparent energy was higher.

I wildly over-estimated how long it would take. I got into line at 9:18 a.m. and had finished voting by 9:26 a.m. and was talking to some of the volunteers about potential stories by 9:27 a.m. They said the flow of people was steady all morning, including several people who had formed a long line even before the polls opened. In 2008, the line snaked through the auditorium and well out the door. The set up was different this time, with the voting machines in the cafeteria, which assured that even if the line got long, no one would have to stand outside in the wet cold.

People were showing up in droves to vote. The line was so short because there was a well-run, efficient polling station at St. James High School this morning.

I must make two confessions:

1) I said that because of Republican obstructism I would not vote for a single member of the GOP during this particular cycle even though I have voted for many in most elections. Well, once I got into the booth, I saw several down-ballot Republicans who I believed earned my vote, so I gave it to them. My pledge remained in place for the top of the ticket, though.

2) I sort of missed the extremely long line from 2008. There was a ton of camaraderie from the people in that line, even though it was clear we all would not be making the same choices once inside the voting booth. It was refreshing to see that display of courtesy, which was in stark contrast to the hyper-partisan rhetoric that is too visible during the bulk of the election cycle. I got a little of that this morning, but because I was only in line for 8 minutes, not nearly as much as I did 4 years ago.

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