Lt. Col. (RET) Allen West poses with my brother Ralph after an event in Deerfield Beach, Florida in August, 2009.
I took the opportunity to cast my votes for Rick Scott & Jennifer Carroll, Marco Rubio, Lt. Col. (RET) Allen West, Pam Bondi, George Moraitis (FL House) and Ellyn Bogdanoff (FL Senate) at Delray Beach City Hall, one of the designated early voting locations. Though I am an old-fashioned kind of girl who prefers to vote on Election Day, I had to break my rule this year in order to be able to poll watch at my precinct on November 2.
I’ll be observing the proceedings from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., making for a long day that will hopefully transition into a raucous celebration lasting well into the evening at the Boca Marriott, where I’ll be watching the returns with the West campaign and other South Florida volunteers.
In what I believe to be an excellent sign, I waited in line for 35 minutes among voters ranging in age from the elderly to the middle-aged. The general mood was friendly, upbeat and sociable, and although I did not specifically ask anyone as to their preferences, I did hear a lot of talk about getting things back on track, making a statement and expressing dissatisfaction with both parties. Having never early-voted before, it’s hard to know if today’s turnout was unprecedented but one woman told me her West Delray precinct had been so overrun with traffic that she and her husband decided to drive several miles east to vote at City Hall. Since east-west traffic in South Florida can be brutal, I am also taking that as a good sign for freedom.
However, with just two weeks to go, now is the time to accelerate our efforts and eschew complacency, even as we bask in the joy of increasingly positive polling results. We’ve worked ourselves ragged over the past two years (many of us longer, considering the push-back against amnesty, TARP & other abominations under the Bush administration), and soon we’ll see the fruits of our efforts. And while we deserve a party and a brief respite from the insanity on November 2, we know this is only Phase 1. During Phase 2, our efforts will be focused on holding the newly elected accountable as we move towards 2012.
“Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.” — Tom Paine