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Culture Lust by Angela Carone

How I Spent My Morning This Election Day

Above: Imagery from earlier today at an Encanto polling site. Angela Carone / KPBS . [ View full-screen ]

I couldn't be happier about how I spent my morning on this historic election day.  I awoke at 4:30am (miserable until coffee) in order to walk the pup and get over to Encanto by 6am.  I then spent the next three hours at the home of Mrs. Johnnie Byrd, an 86-year-old African-American woman who has hosted a polling location in her garage for over 40 years.  Mrs. Byrd was adorable, all decked out in her patriotic finery (see slideshow), including different colored red and blue keds sneakers!  Her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren work the polling site for her now, but that doesn't stop her from handing out the "I Voted" stickers and cooking for her workers all day long.  She made eggs, bacon, sausage and grits for breakfast.  I saw a peach cobbler for later in the day and it took all I had not to sneak a bite. 

I also talked with a lot of voters in this diverse neighborhood of north Encanto.  Many of them talked about the historic nature of this election and how proud they were to be voting.  It seemed to me that the neighborhood tilted heavily democratic, which has historically been the case in this area.  However, all of the folks I talked with said that Prop 8 was an important issue for them as they voted.  I met folks from both sides, and it was evident how emotional people are about this issue. It's interesting to me that some of the minorities I spoke with, who were staunch Democrats, don't see Prop 8 as a civil rights issue.  I talked about this polling site and community of voters on These Days this morning with Tom Fudge. 

After I left Mrs. Byrd's house, I went to vote in South Park where I live.  I didn't wait in any lines (though I would have waited for hours to vote in this election), cast my ballot, and though I walked home, it felt like I was flying along the crest of change. 

Regardless of who you're voting for, please just vote. 

aaryn b. from Elation
November 05, 2008 at 05:29 PM
Angela, these photos are nothing short of amazing. The world is so beautiful through your eyes....

Kelly D.
November 17, 2008 at 06:15 AM
Amazing photos, Ang!