Voting Experience

This was not my first election, I voted in the 2004 presidential election, the New Jersey gubernatorial election that elected Jon Corzine, the presidential primaries and now today.  However, today was the biggest thrill I got.  I actually knew that if I didn’t vote I had no voice-which is always the case.  But this election is monumental in so many ways-this is history.  We are making history here, like the CNN ad in the New York times today, we are living in the moment in which history is made.  No matter who my ballot was cast for (but we all know I Barack’ed it!) I made a contribution to the future of my nation.

I woke to a sea of text messages from friends encouraging me to get my lazy ass out of bed to vote.  I already knew I was voting early, to avoid any possible long voting lines that have been plaguing the country since early polls opened.  I was prepared, I stopped at Dunkin Donuts and got a Vanilla Chai with a plain croissant.  My ever ready Ipod was in my purse and you know I don’t go anywhere without a book and a notepad.  So I was prepared to pass idle time waiting in line.  Imagine my relief when there was NO line.  I knew I had a good polling location, but everyone had scared me into thinking no matter where you went you would be waiting.  But fortunate for me I was good.  You could tell there were expectations for long lines because the polling center had made provisions.  Usually there is one big room and its divided up alphabetically inside an elementary school.  But today they had the ward divided into subdivisions.  And since I didn’t know my subdivision I didn’t show up on the first lists.  So I’m like oh, NO! I checked and I am registered! So they searched and saw I was in a different subdivision. And I trolled across the ground level of Lincoln Elementary school and found my name on the voting list and walked right into my voting booth.  I stood there for a minute, took a deep breath, looked over the ballot and said, wow.  Barack Obama and Joe Biden.  I even placed my opinion on the questions they ask, voted for my senators and councilmen.  Because if you don’t have local representatives that actually represent you, then its no point.  The real process is shown from the bottom up-vote for you mayor, councilmen, freeholders, senate and congress.  They ultimately set the precedent for how our future president can behave.  Anywho.  yeah, I voted for it all.  And I loved every minute of it.

I spoke to my grandfather about it, and he was very nonchalant about it.  First joking that he voted for John McCain, then laughing saying, “yeah right, I don’t vote for thieves. You know I vote democrat.” He was so casual about the idea of voting for the first major party African-American candidate that I loved it.  My great grandmother was born in 1912 in the south, so even though she is dead, I know she is so proud of us actually being able to have this choice.  I once tried to ask my grandfather (b. 1937) about his sentiments during the 60s, and he downplayed it, saying he tried to stay out of it.  He was very close-lipped about relating his experiences.  He summed it up by saying, I’m from Ocala, FL.  I didn’t want to die.  Wow.

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