Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election Day 2008!

This morning, I was the 46th individual to cast a 2008 ballot at my polling location. Two years of speeches, fliers, TV and radio spots, debates, and bloviating all come down to this day. And now, all I can do is wait. Some time tonight, or early tomorrow morning, my country will have a new president. I always find it exhilarating to participate in the electoral process. And today was no different -- in fact, it was probably a bit more exciting than previous elections. My being voter #46 is one reason for the excitement. You see, I believe it is a good sign that almost 50 people had voted shortly after the polls opened: For the past several elections, I was among the first 25 voters, even nailing the number one position twice. So I am thinking along the lines of record turnout now. The candidates themselves is the other reason for this excitement. Regardless of what you think of Senators McCain and Obama, this election is the first one in a long time where I did not feel that voting for a major party candidate was a matter of choosing the lesser of two evils. Seriously, I feel that either man is a capable leader. But please do not misunderstand me -- they represent very different options for the United States of America and her future. Which is why I do not understand people who choose not to vote. Some people claim it's because of the choices. But there are at least six options in this election alone! Depending on your state, there are candidates from the Republican, Democratic, Independent, Libertarian, Constitution, and Green parties. And choosing to vote third-party or for a write-in candidate is completely understandable. In fact, I have done so on more than one occasion (one time writing in "None of the Above"), but never more than once per election, mind you. No, it is the individual who cannot be bothered to vote. The individual who thinks it's about being "outside the process" or sees voting as simply something "other people do." Even more infuriating are the people who skip the polls due to laziness, apathy, or weather ("I can't vote because it's raining"). Now, surely, there are many people who feel forced to forgo voting because of work, or inability to travel, or a host of other issues. Fortunately, if these people are identified, helpul volunteers are more than willing to do what it takes to get them to the polls. But there is nothing to be done for the individual who chose to not register, who cares not one whit about voting. At least ... nothing that will make any difference before the polls close today. Happy Election Day, America! Kudos to you if you voted. And a long period of soul searching for those of you who could not be bothered to participate.

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