According to the devil that is Wikipedia, my rural small southern town covers 8 square miles and has about 2000 residents including children. Of the approximately 600 families, 95% are white. I wouldn't characterize them as racist, but I'd be lying if I didn't admit I've heard people around here say they'd be first in line to shoot Obama (not the word they used) should he get elected. I'd say they are also pretty religious (considering there is no homework assigned on Wednesday nights so you can go to church and not worry about it). There are also a lot of hunters around- which I know from seeing dead deer dangling from trees and hearing gunshots consistently through the hunting seasons. Yards are littered with McCain/Palin and other republican yard signs, and cars are sporting McPalin bumper stickers with lipstick kisses. I'd say its a pretty conservative, republican area.So I went today to early vote. I didn't early vote last time and I got stuck in a 2 hour line in a sweat-stenched elementary school gym with a bunch of boot wearing gun toting republicans while the gym teacher freaked out over the future condition of the gym floor. I wanted to be proactive this time and get it over with. Early voting is at City Hall, a small room with a 200 person capacity with new carpet and clean paint.
When I got there, there were about 15 people in line in front of me. Not too bad. There was a younger lady working the first step of signing in, taking your ID and entering info into a computer to print out some sheet you sign that says what district you are in. She is doing this job probably because she is the only one who can really work a computer. Everyone else working the polls is at least 70, if not 80. They love this job and take it very seriously.
While in line, a young man about 20 years old comes in and goes to the elderly man sitting in a cushy chair supervising the workers. He tells the man he needs to sign in. The man tells him to get in line. He tells the man he is not here to vote, he is a poll-watcher. At this point, elderly man looks at him with disdain- and asks for ID. The young man gets his drivers license out while explaining this is his first time and he isn't sure where to sit, where to sign in, does he need a nametag? Elderly man takes his time examining the drivers license- long enough that young man says, "Is there a problem?" He is polite, but clearly uncomfortable. Elderly man returns license and says, "No problem yet... you can sit over there." Directing him to the most uncomfortable, isolated chair in the room.
At this point, elderly man approaches elderly women and they discuss young man- loudly enough for him to hear. While giving him the evil eye, they say "he'd better mind his P's and Q's." Well, he is from "_____" (which is a larger town about an hour away). Young man has obviously inspired a great amount of distrust. Bless his heart- he is just trying to be involved. The younger woman says there is a list in her briefcase for him to sign in and get a nametag and she will do all that in a minute when she gets time. For now.... he sits. In his little uncomfortable chair just watching people come and go. Small southern towns can be hospitable, but not if you are "some young buck", "probably an Obama supporter", who came "from ______" to make sure these dedicated election workers are doing their job properly. Don't trust him....