Voting alone

March 3, 2009

I voted this morning.

I live in the fifth congressional district
of Illinois, which Rahm Emanuel represented until he joined the merry
band of Chicagoans now running the country. So we're having a special election to replace him, and the primary is today.

I went early so that even if it took awhile I wouldn't be late to work. I needn't have worried: I was the only voter there.

campaign worker keeping warm in his car got out to hand me a flyer.
Five bored poll workers collaborated in assisting me. I felt awkward,
out of place—perhaps partly because my polling place is a women-only
gym. But that aside, it was prime time for nine-to-fivers. Where was

I voted at around the same time in November and waited
in line for a solid hour. Neither then-Rep. Emanuel nor Sen. Dick
Durbin had a serious challenger, and Obama certainly wasn't sweating his
blue home state. If I had persuaded all of the people at my polling
place to tear up their ballots and have a dance party instead—I might
have pulled it off; the gym was already cranking the Abba—the Democrats
still would have won big.

Today, there are 13 Democrats, six
Republicans and five Greens on their respective ballots. Several are
compelling candidates, and there are some real differences among them.
And it's quite possible that the outcome will be close—far more likely
than in next month's general election.

Why don't more people vote in primaries?

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