A few observations from my polling place:
1) At 9:12 a.m., there was a handful of folks voting, but there was plenty of room, which wasn't the case at 7 a.m. According to one poll-watcher, there was quite the line at F.P. Caillet Elementary School; "it was a surly crowd," says a Friend of Unfair Park's who was there from jump. There are four precincts voting in the school's tiny auditorium (it seemed much bigger when I was a kid): the 1117 on the right side (no kidding) and three others that were directed down the left aisle. I was the 152nd to vote in the 1117; that was more than the other three precincts combined.
2) Outside the school, some dude with National Petition Management was trying to get signatures for a petition that would get on next May's ballot an item allowing voters to yay or nay alcohol sales in Justice of the Peace Precinct 3, much of which is currently dry. (NPM was hired by stores in the area trying to juice sales of gin and juice.) It includes northwest Dallas and stretches down to the Park Cities. Dunno about all that. I've always loathed the wet-dry division in the city, but never really have trouble finding booze when I need it. The idea of turning the entirety of my neighborhood into a liquor store doesn't really excite me--and, apparently, it isn't something with which a lot of folks at Caillet were concerned this morning. Six people had signed the thing, which means the pro-boozers have 59,994 signatures to go, by my math.
3) Say what you will about DISD schools, but the 50-year-old Caillet's holding up quite well; the new addition, with a modern-looking library and loft-like classrooms, is spiffy, and the students' garden, complete with a gazebo, gives the old place a touch of cozy class. And, no kidding, two of my old teachers are still at Caillet, including my kindergarten teacher. She even remembered me. "Your dad still have the auto parts store on Second Avenue?" she asked while giving me the guided tour. If everybody got to go back to their old elementary school to vote, there'd be 100 percent turnout. It was just lovely. --Robert Wilonsky
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