Election Day starts here: Tom was up early so he could get to his post as poll helper on time. Alameda County, where we live, is so strapped for election workers that they’ve signed up high school kids to supplement the usual cast of polling-place characters, usually a bunch of retired people from the neighborhood. The pay is 80 bucks for a day that runs from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. I think for Tom, the cash is an incentive. But I think the real motivation is just to be involved in what’s going on. When we drove up to his polling place, at his old middle school, about six or eight blocks from here, he was talking about how great it was to see all the campaign signs. I’ll be going up there to vote in the next half hour or so. Then probably more phonebanking. Then we’re going to have people over to watch the returns tonight.