Today's election at the polling places near my home.

I voted by mail and have done so since it has been offered generally as an alternative, whether one would be away or not from their normal polling place.

Friends like to say that I keep the US Postal Service running because of the number of stamps that I use. It is true that I love mailing real paper letters and cards to many people, even ones who may live less than a block away sometimes.

Having to have postage to send in my ballot is therefore no big deal. A more pressing concern was whether I could find a #2 pencil around the house as they seem to be going the way of typewriters and carbon paper.

Today, though, I wanted to feel and see what was happening out there and took my camera to the three nearest polling places to capture democracy at work. Thanks to Goggle, I aslo visited an interesting site sponsored by The Smithonian called Vote: The Machinery of Democracy. Though most of us may not need to be reminded, the site passed through the periods in which African Americans and women were totally excluded from the vote in the USA.

Here's the link: http://americanhistory.si.edu/vote/

I remember the 2000 Presidentail Election as my now deceased mother and I sat in her living room watching TV as chads got counted in Florida and the winner of the polular vote lost the election eventually in the Supreme Court. I remember again watching with my mom four years ago on TV as Hillary Clinton conceded to Barrack Obama in the primaries. A part of me had very much wanted my mom to live to see the first woman in the country hold the office of President.

Voting always excites me even when I am angry, cynical, disappointed, fed up or skeptical. Visiting the polling places I share here in images today was once again for me a celebration despite all of the many limits and failings of our political system.

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