I imagine, no matter their political affiliation, there’s one thing that vendors in long-term care and politician operatives can agree on: This fall has felt like a marathon. Only the well energized survive, as they either jumped to swing states, set up conference booth after conference booth, or, in the case of the American Health Care Association conference in Florida and LeadingAge Convention in Colorado, did both.

I’m as much of a poll-following, Fix-addicted, Electoral College counting nut as many of you. But even I could sympathize with the teary little girl crying that she was tired of NPR talking about “‘Bronco Bama’ and Mitt Romney.” As Time Magazine said, “We are all Abigael Evans.”

Of course, I’m fortunate: I expect to be able to vote tomorrow in Chicago with limited hassle. It is simultaneously encouraging and horrifying to learn of those in Florida and Ohio who waited hours to vote, and, in the case of those in Miami-Dade on Sunday, who were turned away. How uplifting it was to see hard-working people wanting to cast a ballot and how discouraging it is that the mayor of Miami-Dade threw a tantrum and closed the doors. But in fairness, Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL) cutting the maximum number of early voting days from 14 to eight and eliminating the Sunday before Election Day as an option should be held as accountable for the Doral debacle as anyone.

This is one of those issues where I honestly feel both parties should be able to agree. In a country where so few people vote, why do we want to discourage anyone from being heard? Many nursing home employees arrange transport to the polls for residents or help them with absentee ballots, although a ProPublica report today does raise the alarm on potential violations. What we know is that the desire to participate in the political process does not diminish with age. Even if you are as busy as those in healthcare. If the McKnight’s online comment boards are any indication, some of our readers are not only ready to vote for a presidential candidate but also would vote “yes” on any ballot measure that called for the hangings of Larry Minnix and Tom Scully in effigy.

What this all means, ultimately, is that the end may not be the end. If there are disputes over ballots in Ohio and Florida, then the marathon might have ended, but the race will have morphed into an Ironman competition.

Get ready for a few more miles.