Around the country today, millions of Americans will stand in line for hours, often in the bitter cold, to exercise that most sacred democratic duty — voting. But do they even know who they voted for? For president, of course they do. Maybe even for Senate. But what about for Congress, our most direct representatives in federal government? We took a little exit poll outside a polling site on Fifth Avenue and 4th Street in Park Slope this afternoon to find out, and it wasn't pretty. Out of 29 people we talked to, only nine could tell us who they had voted for literally just moments before. Here's what the rest had to say for themselves:
"Umm ... I don't know. I vote Working Families Party."
"I have no idea. I voted Democratic all the way down."
"Uhh, I don't remember, I voted all Democrat."
"This is embarrassing. I'm a registered Democrat, so I pretty much voted down party lines. But, it's also, I'm sort of displaced from Manhattan, and I'm not as familiar with all the candidates."
"It's our first time so we vote for Democrats. We vote for all the one who are on the first column. Honestly, we only know Obama and nobody else."
"Uhh, well I voted Democrat the whole way."
"Oh shit. I went straight Republican. It sucks, it sucks that I didn't know. I looked at the names, I couldn't recognize any of them. I haven't seen any ads or anything."
Guy: "Uh ... the Democrat." [shrugs]
Lady: "The Democrat."
[Do either of you know the name?]
Lady: "No. Don't take our names."
"Uh, forgot the name, Democratic, whatever that was, I forgot. Kirsten Gillibrand? [That's Senate.] Oh, oh well. See, I'm a bad example of who to ask. I just voted Democratic down the thing after waiting an hour to vote."
Guy: "Democrat. Party Line."
[Do you remember the name of the candidate?]
Guy: Nope. Actually yes! Senate, or Congress?
Guy: No. I should know who the congressional rep is, but I just voted down the line."
"Congress? I went Democrat for all of them. There's so many different names. I think it's, um, Spanish."
"Democrat. I don't remember."
"I vote everything Democrat. I don't remember the name."
"That's a puzzle. 'Cuz I didn't really remember the name. I just voted Democratic up and down. I could have had the lever, you know, with the donkey and the elephant and it would have been the same."
"Oh, uh, whoever the Democrat was. I filled the column down."
"Um, I'm not from here. I don't remember. I just went down the line."
"Um, for Congress, um, the Democratic candidate. I just voted down the line. I know that sounds really terrible. Let's see um ... Congress was Gillibrand? [That's a senator.] Duh. Well, that's embarrassing for me. I'm not very informed."