I love Election Night. It’s one of my favorite holidays of the year. Not Election Day, but Election Night. That time from when the polls close until the last (or at least many) of the votes are counted.
This year, I got to spend Election Night at work. I came into work at 6:30 p.m. and left a little after 3:30 a.m. The adrenaline rush in a newsroom on Election Night is contagious and incurable.
The thing about elections for me, or for people our age, really, is that they never have gone as planned. They’re always exciting and terrifying.
The first election we were old enough to understand and remember resulted in a Supreme Court decision. That kindof warps your perception of the election process.
So, we were confused by hanging chads, shocked that G. W. Bush got reelected, amazed that Obama actually was elected and wasn’t shot during his speech in Chicago that night, and now we’re bewildered by the Tea Party victories.
Elections are always a good time, even if not necessarily good.
I would put money on electronic voting machines and someone hacking the system in the next 10 years. I’d bet a woman gets elected president or vice president in the next two presidential elections. I’m guessing the campaign structure will shift again (or just continue its shift) as the centralized media groups fall (newspapers, broadcast networks) and more personalized advertising becomes the norm. I’d even go so far as to say the electoral college could get nixed in the next two decades.
Election Night is all about change, but really, it’s about the comfort in knowing that nothing will go as planned or promised. Election Night is a chance to obsess, predict, dream and despair. It’s the best holiday out there.