I Voted (Finally)

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November 2, 2004 at 3:31 pm

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I have to be honest with you. At the start of early voting here in Texas, I decided I wasn’t going to vote in this election. I got so fed up with both parties and their figureheads that I convinced myself not voting was a viable way to voice my dissent.

Further, I convinced myself that I wasn’t as aware as I’d like to be on local politics — thus resorting to the sad, “Well, their name sounds too familiar. It’s time for someone new in that office.” or, worse, “Aha, a woman’s name —

I’ll vote for the female,” method of voting. Of course, what I was denying is this is the most costly election in history and there are MILLIONS of uninformed voters turning out at the polls. Casting my one vote is no less meaningful, even if it did boil down in some cases to whose name I’m tired of hearing in smear ads about fraud and tax evasion (a local race).

Today, I studiously checked the voting location (within walking distance of our home) until the traffic seemed acceptable. I pegged it perfectly — I think I was in and out of there within 10 minutes, with a line of only four people in front of me! So much for the “camping out for hours” voting experience I was steeling myself to experience.

So, I’ve done my duty as a registered voter and American citizen.

However, I doubt I will be cheering when the final results are tallied — regardless of who is declared the victor. I have a clear leaning to one candidate over the other, but I don’t feel like either is going to miraculously solve the problems that eat at my heart when I read the news. The problems can be made worse, true, but I don’t believe that either is unlikely to — as politicians do — pervert laws or worsen the perception of America abroad (and, really, at home as well).

We’ll see how it plays out. I’m not by nature a political person.

In fact, until noon-time when I finally voted, I considered my greatest duty today to be doing a two-week food shopping for Justin and I… something that directly affects our lives in the here and now. Thank goodness supermarkets and, say, cereal makers don’t pander to you the way politicians do. “If my competitor has his way, your kids will be malnourished and toothless by the age of 5.”

For the same reason I watch an occasional NASCAR race or Monster Truck rally on television, yes, I am loosely following the AM radio election yakity-yak and I’ll no doubt see several hours of my life forever lost as I watch the network election returns later this evening.

PS: I’m flying my American flag today and I’m wondering why no one else in our neighborhood is.

Election Day should be one of the days we all feel most patriotic and American, no?

At least we have the ability to vote, unlike some of our servicemen and servicewomen who did not receive ballots in time (or, at least, didn’t receive ballots from their home state so they could vote on local issues, and not just for President.)

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