06 November 2012

Election Day: Four years later

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: Chicago

Four years ago today, I ran outside of my apartment to get in line to vote and felt a thrill of doing my civic duty.

Four years ago today, I stood with six friends in Grant Park and watched CNN announce the new president, feeling the crowd (and the city) explode with excitement and hear the president-elect make his first words.

And now, four years later, today is Election Day, yet again. And like Groundhog Day, I woke up and stood in line to do my civic duty.

Election Day in Chicago is different, probably because our local ties to the current president (as of this afternoon). There is something here that is just electric and buzzing and feeling like it’s on the verge of something big.

In Chicago, the turnout for early voting has been huge. Lines of 2.5 hours, people weaving down the sidewalk and sharing pictures and stories of just waiting to vote, something that doesn’t take a lot of time, but something they felt was their right do to, especially this year.

In reality, Chicago is a Democratic state, so many feel like their vote doesn’t matter because, well they have a pretty good idea of how the state will go between Obama and Romney.

But what prompted me to write about a political topic (which I never do) on this blog is the memories today brings up from voting in Chicago four years ago.

Four years ago, I volunteered rather extensively for the Obama campaign, which was located in downtown Chicago, a stones throw from my office building. I remember working in the finance department after work and on weekends, sitting at a ping pong table, sorting and logging donations and feeling like, I was doing something important. There was so much hope and excitement and feeling of change that is was just, intoxicating.

Today, I went back to read the blog post I wrote about that night and rewatched a video that really captured what it felt like to be there when the results were announced.

Tonight, I won’t be down at McCormick Place to celebrate. Mine will be more low-key. I still believe in hope and change and moving forward. Things are not perfect, and who knows what the next four years will hold, but whatever the decision tonight, let’s hope it gets us to where we need to be.

So without digging in to one versus another, this how I view Election Day. Hope you all went out to vote!


  1. Janalee says:

    I got to go to the polling station with my boyfriend in AZ. Since I’m Canadian I didn’t vote. As an outsider though I will say that for the most powerful country in the world your elections are very dysfunctional.

    It was interesting to see how things are done there though.

  2. Jaime says:

    I watched Obama’s speech from Sorrento at 7:30am…it was amazing. I am just glad that all the nasty political ads are over! lol

  3. katelin says:

    I can’t even imagine how electric Chicago was last night. So very cool no matter where you were in the city.

  4. Marjolein says:

    I wonder why the lines for the polling stations are so incredibly long? Aren’t there enough polling stations? We’ve had elections five times in the past ten years in the Netherlands and I’ve never had to wait longer than 15 minutes. I don’t mean this as criticism, I’m just honestly wondering what’s going on in the US.