Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Sweatin' on the poll

I just finished exercising. And, as usual, when one exercises, I got a little hot and sweaty, and I could feel my heart beating faster.

What amazing new workout program did I undertake, you may ask? I just exercised my civic duty. That’s right, my fellow Americans… I voted.

It was a bit hot and crowded in there. The line was out the door (for early voting!), and I had to wait awhile before it was my turn to get up to the flashing screen to cast my personal vote… my voice… my selection for races being run, both the ‘bigguns’ and the more local ones.

My heart did start to beat a little more quickly when I got up to the voting booth (which technically is not a booth. I remember voting in the election in 2000, and I actually went inside a little cubicle and pulled the curtain to cast my vote. I remember this because Josie was just a tiny baby, and I carried her in her infant carrier to vote with me, and that it was a pretty tight squeeze for me, a giant diaper bag, and a carseat in that tiny little space. But I voted, and we proudly displayed our “I Voted” stickers… one on my shirt… probably hiding a spit up stain, and one on Josie’s carrier. But I digress…)

I’m always a little nervous casting my vote… and it’s definitely not because I’m uncertain about who to vote for. I’ve known THAT since the results of the primaries. I always get a little shaky that I’m going to push that “VOTE” button, having accidentally selected the wrong candidate. It is a computer, you know, and I’m not the most techno-savvy person around…

So, I reviewed… and reviewed… and checked and double checked (no wonder that line was so freakin’ long! It’s people like me!)… and sweated it out before I hit that flashing red “VOTE” button at the top of the machine, which feels so final. And then? Well, a little anticlimactic… just a flashing screen that said, ‘Williamson County thanks you for voting’.

The first time I ever voted in any type of election, I remember feeling a little letdown after it was over. Thinking, ‘What’s the big deal?’ I’m not quite sure what I expected. Confetti to explode from the top of the voting machine? Bells and whistles to go off…an announcement? “Another proud American has just cast a vote for change.”

And still, years later, no confetti, or announcements… but I can appreciate it so much more now. I won’t tell you my party affiliation (even though those of you that know me even remotely can probably figure THAT one out!) because it doesn’t really matter (well, it does to ME, but not for the purposes of this blog). What does matter is that voting is important to me. Important enough to carve time out of my day (and my blog writing!) to do it. Important enough that it still makes my heart beat faster, and my adrenaline surge to be part of this historic event.

I am now wearing my little oval ‘I Voted’ sticker (will they EVER change this generic design?!! I’ve worn the same sticker for the last 12 years!), and I’ll answer my kids questions about it when they get home from school today. I even snagged an extra sticker if I decide that I want to wear one on election day, too (hey! It doesn’t say WHEN I voted… just that I did!)

On Tuesday evening, I’ll be watching the results, along with millions of others, and know that I did have my part in it, small as it may be. I made my choice.

So, don’t forget to vote… it’s a great workout!


sarah. said...

I voted today - even if it's only to cancel out the vote of the guy who thinks Sarah Palin is Obama's running mate. (Yes, some people know that much about the candidates.) Who thought it was a good idea to let absolutely everyone vote anyway...

sarah. said...

...and for the record...if a person doesn't understand the super simple a kindergartner-could-do-it computer voting system well enough to vote for the right person, their vote shouldn't count. No recounts this time.

(I'm off my soapbox now.)

Veronica said...

You could get some yummy stuff out of that extra sticker! I read that Krispy Kreme and Benn & Jerry's are giving away free stuff on Tues when you wear your "I Voted" sticker.

Staci said...

SWEEEET! Glad I snuck another one into my purse. When I can't zip up my jeans next week, I'm blaming you, V.