So the election has been over now for a couple days. We’ve had two evenings with no campaign ads on TV, which is very refreshing.

I actually didn’t plan on watching the returns Tuesday night. Early in the evening, before most of the polls had closed, the political commentators reminded me of sportscasters during a dull game, just talking to hear themselves talk since there was nothing at all to report yet.

We had to leave the house just to get away from the coverage for a bit. But after a short escape for ice cream at Cold Stone Creamery and a few quick errands (Costco was deserted; it was a great time to pop in there), we did our civic duty and watched the returns. And stayed up well past midnight to see Romney’s concession speech (which was quite gracious) and Obama’s victory speech.

Some thoughts about the election and the results…

About Voting

Many Missoula voters were still in line when the polls closed at 8 PM. They were all allowed to vote, although no one else could join the line. From what I understand, the last voter voted sometime around 11 PM.

This made me very glad that we voted early by mail.

Yes, my vote should be counted!

I am also glad that the state of Montana provides an online ballot-tracking page. A few days before Election day, I verified that both my ballot and Renee’s ballot were received and accepted.

About the Results

I don’t have a lot to say about the results. I’m glad Obama was re-elected, and I’m glad Tester beat out Rehberg. I’ve never been a fan of Rehberg and I’m amazed he managed to stay in congress as long as he did.

This article is a few weeks old, but it lists the top nine anti-science lawmakers. Rehberg was at the top of the list. This makes me even more glad that he is now unemployed: The 9 Most Anti-Science Candidates in America.

Another good link summing up the election, with a good reality check about the next four years: Next Morning Presidential Election Thoughts – Whatever.

Eight Years

For some reason, I don’t find myself comparing this election with 2008 –
instead I am finding myself thinking a great deal about the elections in 2004, when Bush was re-elected. I was not happy back then, not just because of the Presidential race, but also because 11 states had ballot initiatives to ban same-sex marriage. And every last one of them passed. Montana was one of those states; I wasn’t living here then, so of course I could not vote on that measure. But I was in the process of planning to move here.

It was a depressing few days after that election. There is something perverse about voting on whether or not another human being is worthy of forming a family.

I also recall there were some who thought that those ballot measures might have helped give Bush the election, by drawing out the evangelical and fundamentalist voters in greater numbers. I’m not a political analyst and I have no idea if there is any truth that idea. But still, it was depressing.

Anyway, what a difference can happen in eight years! This time around, marriage equality won in four states.

Maine, Maryland, and Washington voted to approve same-sex marriage, and Minnesota rejected a ban. I think groups like “National Organization for Marriage” are still in shock – they assumed that they would always win at the ballot box. I have to admit, I didn’t expect to see these four wins either. The world is changing.

I still think it is perverse to vote on the validity of people’s families, but if there is going to be a vote, at least it is affirming those families rather than trashing them.

Finally, Tammy Baldwin, an open lesbian, was voted into the Senate in Wisconsin.

All in all, election day was a good day this year!