I wasn’t in the States for the 2004 presidential election. I watched from afar, in my small apartment above an elementary school in southern Poland. It was, in fact two, rooms (each with a bath) joined by a opening not in the original plans. It took me almost six months to convince the powers that be to join two useless rooms into one small apartment. My internet connection was supplied by the village planning office across the hall.
It was all done Polish style: “We’ve got a router with an open connection if you’re interested,” the gentleman who worked in the office informed me one day. “If you want, we can run a bit of network cable over to your apartment.” So we took a drill with a very long bit, drilled through the walls just above the doors, and stretched a cable through to my apartment.
Returning from school that Tuesday, I bounced around the internet, looking for very early results: it was only nine in the morning on the East Coast, so there wasn’t much information yet. Throughout the night, I checked; throughout the night, it became clearer that Bush had won. When I finally went to bed, it was with the strange realization that it was the second time — in a row — that I’d gone to bed not knowing the outcome of the election.
And today? Will it be any different?
If Dixville Notch, New Hampshire is any indication, we’ll know relatively quickly:
In Dixville Notch, New Hampshire, 100 percent of registered voters — all 21 of them — cast their ballots just after midnight in the first moments of Tuesday morning. For the first time in 40 years, the town voted Democratic in the presidential election, 15-6. (CNN)
Whatever the outcome, one thing seems sure: people around world are paying closer attention to this US election than to almost any other in history.
I’m doing this more for my own use than anything else — got it via Thud.