[Image courtesy of usqedu]
We are going to wade into the details (and problems!) of Election Day 2012 over the next several months and beyond, but before the ballots get too cold I want to acknowledge the fact that in thousands of polling places and jurisdictions across the nation, election officials, poll workers and voters did their jobs - and did them well.
It's human nature to look for problems - and that is amplified by the media, whose mission it is to focus on the unexpected (usually bad) news that arises every day. As my journalist friend and former electionline.org colleague Dan Seligson used to remind me, "we don't cover planes that don't crash or buildings that don't burn down."
I completely understand that, but in the spirit of equal time for good news [and, to be honest, an excuse to use this adorable picture of a seriously happy baby] ...
Thank you to all the election jurisdictions that did have enough supplies - especially ballots and voting machines - for voters to use on Election Day.
Thank you to the pollworkers who did show up on time, remembered their training, and did everything in their power to assist voters with the act of casting their ballot.
Thank you to those organizations and projects - including my good friends at the Voting Information Project - who made sure that high-quality, official information about voting was available to millions of voters before and during Election Day.
Thank you to the voters who showed up ready to cast ballots, were patient if they had to wait, and took the time to celebrate our country's democratic system by being part of it. I have a special place in my heart for first-time voters of every age, who I suspect had a similar reaction to that of my college student daughter, who posted this on Facebook after voting:
I thought about posting a sarcastic comment about how I needed to make an obligatory voting status, but after voting for the first time, I am driving home singing "Born in the USA."
And last but definitely not least, THANK YOU to all of the women and men across America who wake up every day, not just Election Day, thinking about how to make the voting process work in your community. We are all in your debt.
There will be lots of time to go over the things that didn't go right, but today (but not just today, I promise) I want to tip my election geek cap to everyone who made sure Election Day didn't crash or burn.