Home again. So sorry I wasn't able to post more while in Arizona--the days were long and the free time back at the hotel was way too brief. On Tuesday we got to the volunteer HQ around 5am and were out at the polling places until after 7pm--in some cases, way after 7pm.
I happened to spend most of my day at a very crowded polling place near ASU in Tempe. The biggest problem we encountered was people who had been told they could vote at any polling place with a provisional ballot, which wasn't true for Arizona. So I spent most of my time trying to hook people up with the correct polling place. The line there was never less than an hour long, and at 7pm it was almost a 3 hour wait. Imagine--hundred of teenagers waiting in 2hr lines--to vote!! They were terrific, I just couldn't believe what I was seeing.
I believe that the problem here was the same as for many--a blowout turnout that was unanticipated by the polling officials. Sometimes this was a willful decision that everyone knew would turn into long lines and discouraged voters. Other places it was just lack of attention. I don't know which was true at ASU. Voter registration drives at ASU made headline, and were very aggressive this year, so you'd think someone would have prepared better. Unfortunately, there wasn't a single thing to do by election day.
About the election outcome, I have nothing to say except if Bush expects a "clean slate" and a benefit of the doubt, he's got another think coming. If he expects to "unite" this country by demanding that everyone get behind his policies, he will be sadly mistaken.
And to those moron independents and third-party backers who say that if the Dems wanted to win they should have fielded a "viable candidate", I say you wouldn't know a viable candidate if he personally saved you from a burning building. You had a choice between a man like Bush and a man like Kerry, for godsakes. It couldn't have been clearer. You people screwed up big time, and you deserve what's coming. But because I and 55 million others live here too and don't deserve what's been handed to us, I and others will try like the devil do soften the blow. You can thank us later, if you ever figure out which way's up.