Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Got roped into doing my bit for the democratic process last night. Kate had spent the afternoon as a poll-worker for the South Carolina Democratic primary; I went to pick her up and deliver her ballot box to the government office building in Camden and got roped into being a counter. A woman and I sat on the floor seperating the votes for the Camden Five box, then counting and recounting them to see that our figures jibed.

This is the first time in years I've visited the courthouse (or its adjunct building) on an election night. Back when I was writing for the Camden Chronicle-Independent, I did it all the time, of course. It seems rather quaint now, to recall it. There was usually a huge crowd of people standing around as the Democratic Party Chairman, Bobby Jones, called out the results. Bobby, a former school principal and a fine old country boy who always delivered cakes to the paper, would always mangle the names as he read the results -- deliberately, I think, just to amuse the crowd. One year that perpetual Republican loser Tommy Hartnett was running for something, and Jones would pronounce his name as Harkness or Hartley or just whatever came to mind.

Over the course of seven years, I would be there, along with Dave Macintosh from WPUB, and Jan Tuten from The State, as we all variously went from single to married to parents to separated or divorced or whatever. Bobby moved on, I moved on, and so did Jan; Dave's still there, and the person calling out the figures was ... Kate.

Time slogs on.

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