America in Line

Poor lost souls. This is pathetic.
“If I die tomorrow, I did my duty.”
Washington Post
Long before Election Day, voters across the country have been lining up to cast their ballots. We sent teams of reporters and photographers to six cities — Houston, Albuquerque, Chattanooga, Sarasota, Atlanta and Columbus — to capture how people feel as they wait for their chance to be heard.
The line is a barrier. It stretches along sidewalks, around corners and through parking lots, zigging one way and zagging back the other. It is a daunting impediment to those who cannot wait. A reminder of this nation’s long history of voting hurdles. Protection against a deadly virus and a defiant response to those who have sought to deny the most basic right in a democracy.

The line is an inspiration. The crowd moves with shared purpose. Strangers hand out water bottles. A woman sways to gospel music. Lawn chairs are pulled out and pizzas ordered. Red, white and blue are the colors of the day.
The line is a promise. Hours of standing, six feet apart, a few steps at a time, for the chance to make a choice. One person, one vote. A right first granted to White, male landowners in 1776, then claimed through political and violent struggle by women, Native, Black and Latino Americans and naturalized citizens.
All now have a place in the line.

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