A brief update, with thanks

Many thanks to everyone who left such thoughtful and supportive comments on Tuesday’s Programming Note, and to everyone who waited with quiet patience for my return to history blogging.

Even in the midst of the on-going maelstrom, I can say without reservation that I loved working the polls on election day. It was nothing but good vibes from my fellow workers and from the voters. The youngest volunteer was just 16! He did a great job managing the lines.

Quite a few voters brought their children who were so excited to see how the process works. Some got to slide the ballot into the box for their parents and I made sure they got as many “I Voted” stickers, which were particularly cool and varied this year, as they wanted.

After the polls closed, I witnessed and signed the vote count along with two other members of the team, and I removed all the paper ballots from the ballot box for delivery to city hall. I found it genuinely affecting to be literally elbows deep in the physical manifestations of democracy. And here’s a cool discovery I never expected or even entered the antechamber of my mind: thousands of paper ballots smell wonderful. You know how some coffee table books with thick paper and fine ink smell amazing? It was like that but a hundred times stronger.


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Comment by Dawn Chandler
2020-11-05 15:53:06

I wish to join all the others in thanking you for this marvelous blog, as well as for being a poll worker! Hooray for History! Hooray for Democracy! Hooray for the fragrance of thousands of paper ballots!

Comment by Bruce Erickson
2020-11-05 17:35:54

Thanks for your service sir !!

Comment by Bob Acheson
2020-11-05 18:32:40

Well said! By god, this is still the United States, the grand old Republic!

Comment by Holly Terwilliger
2020-11-05 19:39:09

Thank you so much for sharing these wonderful thoughts in the middle of chaos. There are some very good people in the world. :)

Comment by Petrea Burchard
2020-11-05 22:34:57

Again, thank you. And thank you for the blog. I read every post, and I suppose I should comment more often but I rarely have anything to add to your wonderful entries and all the great comments! :D

Comment by Patti
2020-11-05 23:41:10

I so love your blog and I think it is brilliant that you took a day off to be part of history instead of
writing about it. Thank you!

Comment by jen
2020-11-06 00:38:41

Thank you ♥️

Comment by Michael
2020-11-06 08:19:38

Thanks for your efforts!

Comment by Marilyn
2020-11-06 09:13:36

Good job! Thanks.

Comment by Kyle
2020-11-06 11:48:24

This was great to read, thank you.

Comment by Wendy C. Reed
2020-11-06 13:43:16

It is indeed a great feeling. Kudos to you!!

Comment by George M.
2020-11-06 14:02:22

Supposedly, the ghost of Daniel Webster occasionally appears and asks, “How sails the ship of state?” I would answer him, “Despite the reefs and storms of late, it sails well, sir, it sails well.”

Comment by Catherine
2020-11-06 15:23:49

Maybe ballots smell as good as or even better than libraries! Thanks for your work at the ballot box and encouraging the little ones.

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August 2022


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