Yesterday, I was driving past the most popular campaign-picketing intersection in town. On one corner, a white-haired man in a bright orange jacket was holding a campaign sign in the cold, smiling and waving at passing cars. Being that I support this particular candidate, I rolled down my window and let out a whoop. He turned and beamed in my direction, guffawing so loud I could hear him in my car. And then I realized that the white-haired man was none other than Karl Kassel himself, out in the cold with his supporters. I hollered "Good Luck" as the light turned green, and headed home.
Today, driving past the same intersection Mr. Kassel was again out with his supporters in the early morning Fairbanks cold. I have so much respect for that. At the next intersection, there were a handful of high school kids mixed in with the Republican supporters, waving hand-made black-and-pink signs supporting "Paris 4 Prez!" with much more enthusiasm than their adult counterparts.
After listening to stories of hour longs lines, rain-soaked voters and machine malfunctions on the radio all day, hearing to stories of city-residents waiting in line for two hours to cast early ballots and tales Alaska Natives flying in from the villages to cast their ballots in Fairbanks and Anchorage to be sure their votes were counted, Peter and I headed up to the fire station to take part. There were a handful of cars in the parking lot, but as we walked in it was clear that they belonged to the seven voting officials and one voting observer sitting inside knitting and having an animated discussion about which cell phone carrier has the best coverage on the Slope. Peter and I had the entire polling place to ourselves. I love this state.