Happy Election Day to the Americans out there! Today is such a special day as we get to make our voice heard and participate in our democracy. I feel so lucky that I live in one of the places in the world where we can change the direction of our country by peacefully voting instead of resorting to a coup d'etat or civil war.
My polling location is at a little brick elementary school a few blocks from my house. Seeing the people in my neighborhood walking over and waiting in line together epitomizes the special feeling of community I have on Election Day. The US, like all countries, has its problems, but I love the fact that I have the freedom to say what I want, openly agree or disagree with the government and vote as I believe. I am proud to be an American everyday, but especially so on Election Day.
I went to vote this morning but the line was an hour and a half long so I headed into work and then came back during lunchtime. This ended up having a special perk since when I went back a lady had baked a huge tray of chocolate chip cookies and had her daughters passing them out to the other voters waiting in line. I really love my little neighborhood.
This year I won't be able to have a party to watch the returns come in since I have a TV conference for work this evening. I'm a little disappointed, especially since it looks like it will be a tight race.
I thought for fun I would share my election party details from 2004 since I had already shared about my election experience in 2008 while I was living in Japan. Back then I was living in a little apartment in Oakland, California. For fun I hung up red, white and blue streamers draped from my living room ceiling and passed out red, white and blue bead necklaces to my guests.
For food I kept with the patriotic theme and had all red and blue snacks including blue corn tortilla chips with red salsa and candy bars with red and blue wrappers. I also made star shaped sugar cookies icing half in red and half in blue. For drinks there was red and blue punch.
My favorite part of the party was the felt electoral collage map that I made. I made two enlarged photocopies of an outline map of the US states that I found on the Internet and used them as a template to cut out all of the states in red felt and then blue felt. I mounted a large piece of white felt on a piece of foam core as a background for the map. As each state was called for either John Kerry or George Bush I put up either the blue or red version of the felt state on the board. It was a great way to keep track of electoral college standing throughout the night with my guests.
It was fun to get together with friends to spend time enjoying watching our political process in action. Hopefully in 2016 I'll be able to do it again!