(Updated, below.) A week ago I voted absentee in Washington, just before getting on the plane for Beijing.

I had an "I voted!" sticker on my sweater when I stepped into a cab downtown. The driver did a double-take when he saw it, so I explained and asked him if he was planning to vote on the normal election day.

He appeared to be in his 70s, a black man who said he'd been born in Washington and never lived anywhere else. He said he probably would vote, and was leaning Democratic. "But I'm kind of undecided between Mrs. Hillary and this new guy -- what do they call him, 'Bama?" As in someone from Selma or Mobile.

On balance, he said, he would probably go Clinton. "You can say what you want, but you know that he is going to be back here running things," referring to Mrs. Clinton's husband. "Those times were good!"

Ah, the pageant of democracy. Get out and vote!

(I write this from a country where people aren't given the opportunity. Also: having gone this many decades in journalism without using a "the taxi driver told me" chestnut -- at least that I can remember -- I figure I can get by with one, on an election-day theme.)

Update: Reader Edward Goldstick points out that if I really wanted to get a double-take from the next taxi driver or passers-by in general, I should have kept the "I voted" sticker on and worn it around Beijing.

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