Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day

What is Election Day?

To me, this means it's my opportunity to make my voice heard.  I get to publicly say the way I want to see my community managed, whether that community be local (county-based) or national (like this year's presidential election).  I have voted every year where there has been a vote since I turned 18, and have done so with great pride.  I may not have always been happy with my decisions after-the-fact, but when my vote was cast, it was done so believing I had made the best possible choice.

This year, I took advantage of "Early Voting" because all 3 kids were going to be home from school and I was concerned that the lines that may incur would cause me difficulties in the polling places.  I went to a local community center on Thursday where they were holding the early voting and made my choices.  I placed my vote president/vice-president, my representatives, other local posts, and I answered all seven state-based ballot questions, the couple of county-based questions.  I knew when I left the polling place that many of the votes I made would be "cancelled out" by my husband who does NOT share my political views, but I had done my part to make sure my voice was heard.

I am SO grateful that we had the opportunity for Early Voting this year.  This fall, Tuesdays has become the crazy day that was Saturday last year.  On Tuesdays, Ballerina has her dance class after school and then, after running home for a quick dinner, I'm rushing off to take Big Brother to Cub Scouts, and we're usually late.  Dad doesn't get home until we are between those two activities.  Even though we aren't doing much during the day today (until dance class), the added insanity of going to the kids' school to vote (and have them NOT attending school) would have made things unbearable for me.

But there's a trade-off.

I feel bad that Big Brother didn't get to watch me cast my ballot.  He knows who I voted for and he knows that his Dad will be voting for his opponent.  He knows that Dad and I are two different people with differing political views and that doesn't adversely affect our ability to love one another and share our lives together.  And he even knows some of the specifics as to why his Dad and I disagree, which will hopefully make him a more informed voter when he turns 18 and takes on his responsibility of making his voice heard.  But I wish that my fear of the behavior of his brother and sister didn't prevent me from taking him to see democracy in action.  I wish he could have seen what it means to go into a voting booth and cast a ballot.

In 4 years, I'm making a promise to do my best to bring (at least) him with me when I vote.  He deserves it.  My fears of the public's reaction should not prevent me from teaching such an important lesson to my son.

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