It seemed like this day would never come, but here we are, it's election day. And while there is a lot of excitement about this day, I'd be lying if I said there was much drama. Only a few dozen people in New Hampshire have voted, but I can already make the call, and it's hardly bold: Barack Obama is the next president of the United States.
There, I said it. You don't have to be in the tank for Obama to look at the map and realize there's no way McCain can win this thing. The new winning strategy McCain's people keep forwarding has too many "ands" to be taken seriously. As in: "If the poll numbers are wrong AND the youth vote isn't as strong as predicted AND newly registered voters don't show up on Tuesday AND Pennsylvania goes our way AND we retain most of the Bush states, then we win."
In contrast, Obama's map is all about the "or." They can take Virginia OR Ohio OR Florida OR North Carolina OR a few Rocky Mountain states and win. The numbers just don't add up in McCain's favor.
Despite the fact that the outcome of the presidential race is all but certain, voter turnout here has been through the roof. Voting (like many other things) works differently in Oregon than elsewhere in the country. The elections office mails each voter a ballot about 17 days ahead of the election. Then the voter can drop their ballot in the mail or leave it in a drop box at the elections office.
As of Monday afternoon, more than 60% of voters in our country had returned their ballots. At times, traffic at the drop boxes was backed up for more than four blocks. I can only imagine what it's going to look like when the sun comes back up this morning.
And what it will look like this evening is history. And not that bad kind of history that keeps happening to us, but the good kind. The kind of history you brag about being a witness to, like the moon landing or the fall of the Berlin Wall. It's about time we had a little good history happening.
Good history isn't a guarantee of good times ahead. In fact, there are likely some very bad times in our immediate future. But for one day, I guess it's ok to steal away a small moment and smile.