Comment permalink

Election day in Alabama and lines are long

Turnout is particularly strong in a strong red state.

I've lived in Alabama all my life, and over the decades, I've covered countless local, state and federal elections. I've learned that yes, true to predictions, residents in my state do turn out in droves to vote in presidential elections. And yes, I can say with some confidence that voters here will most likely vote for Mitt Romney. This is a solidly red state, after all.

I can tell you that the lines in my hometown of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, were extremely long, even during the so-called mid-afternoon "down time." Pollsters told me that they've never seen this kind of turnout before, at least on a local level. We have a major Probate Judge's race going on here that's been rather nasty, so perhaps that also contributed to the turnout. Whatever the case, Alabamians are casting ballots in record numbers today.As a journalist, I am conditioned not to ever inject my own personal opinions into anything. This, of course, includes (especially) anything political-related. Even when I'm not officially covering elections, I find that I often hesitate whenever someone asks my opinion about something. It makes me uncomfortable, as if I'm doing something somehow forbidden -- even if it's just a casual conversation over coffee with a longtime friend.

That being said, I think I'm long overdue to give my opinion, so here goes: I am extremely hopeful that President Barack Obama will be re-elected. I'm nervous right now, because polls have indicated this will be a close one. Will it be Bush/Gore 2000? Please God, I hope not. I think I stayed at work for two straight days trying to cover that mess. I do think it might be a while before we know a final result from this election, though.

There, I did it! I gave my personal opinion and yes, it made me uncomfortable, but it also felt a bit...liberating. For others who regularly cover political matters, is it hard for you to keep your own feelings and opinions in check? Or do you try *so* hard to bury your own beliefs that you can't always remember what you actually think?

I got my "I Voted" sticker, and I'm proud of it, no matter what the outcome of this election.