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Election Day in Shade Valley

Posted 11/9/2008 5:27pm by Julie Hurst / Roy Brubaker.

I heard from Patrick this morning that CSA distribution combined with Election Day made for quite an energetic combination in State College!  I understand the line for the polls extended around the block at Friends Meeting House.   Kudos to any of you who braved the long wait; I hope you were able to enjoy free pizza or snack on your Village Acres veggies while you waited.


Voting here in Shade Valley is a much quieter affair.   About a mile from our house, in the village of Cross Keys an old, one-room school house is our township / precinct headquarters. The poll workers, three older women, have worked elections for as long as I’ve been voting here.  I arrived at around 9 am and was voter number twenty-one. Dorothy said turnout was up considerably this year.  Jim B., his wife Susan, and her elderly mother were chatting with the poll workers, who are neighbors they have known for years.  They know who I am too so there was no need to call out my party affiliation, for which I was rather relieved.  After voting I stood and talked for several minutes with them too.  I learned from Jimmy that when he began working for PennDot back in the sixties, Election Day was a state holiday and as a state worker he was expected to be available to drive people to the polls.  Sounds like a pretty good idea to me.  Apparently when they unionized and were given more personal days the state took away Election Day as a holiday. 

   I am quite encouraged by the level of energy and participation displayed on Tuesday.  No matter how you feel about the outcome, I hope the sense of possibility and the call to unify will encourage you to be engaged in the process.  One fellow organic farmer told me that voting is one of the least important civic activities we can do. He feels that how he chooses to grow and eat food and protect the environment is a much more important civic activity.  I know he is right, but maybe because I am a little sappy, witnessing collective action, like voting or picking up a CSA box, is a real shot in the arm for me in a way that weeding my garden alone on a hot day just isn’t.