Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Civic Duty...

Several years back, I made a promise to myself that I would never miss an election, no matter how small. I really value my right to vote and what women went through so that I can have that right. While I am not very active politically and really don't like talking about politics at all, I do my part in my own little way.

I have not succumbed to the absentee ballot lure because I really love going to a polling place and casting my vote. There is something symbolic for me that I enjoy. I actually wish that my polling place had red, white and blue curtains like I remember from my child hood (our grade school was a polling place). I also love to take my kids with me so they can know the importance of voting (not just to annoy the other voters with two small children). I became emotional in November as I explained what I was doing. It was such a monumental day.

Yesterday was a special election here in California. The only things on the ballot were a set of measures from the governor's office. Honestly, there hasn't really been much talk about them that I have heard and the political ads were practically nonexistent (thank goodness). Due to the lack of hype, I completely forgot it was election day. I was driving to meet my friends for a Mom's Night Out when I suddenly remembered that I needed to vote. I decided that missing one drink wouldn't be a bad thing and I took a little detour to my polling place. Honestly, I had only done some cursory reading about the measures and wasn't completely prepared. I did know about at least two of the measures and wanted to vote on at least those issues.

As I walked into my polling spot, I found out that they had moved my precinct. I don't even recall receiving my election book; only Kenny did (he is an absentee voter). Did I miss a notice telling me that my polling place of the past five years had moved? The volunteer told me vaguely where I should go. I drove to the street where she told me and turned in where I saw a sign for a polling place. Nope. I needed to go two blocks over. O.M.G. This was getting to be quite an ordeal. For one or two ballot measures, I was driving all over the place. A fifteen minute detour was quickly becoming forty-five. I was starting to get a bit grumpy. At this point, I was committed. I couldn't quit now.

I finally found the right spot. After joking with the volunteers, I was able to finally vote. My mood improved. I went and joined my friends proudly wearing my "I voted" sticker. I didn't miss the drink or two I would have had if I had arrived earlier. I had done the right thing.