Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Voting Day

I just got back from voting.

When we used to live directly across the street our polling place was the nearby school.  Since we moved to this side of the street we go vote at a DMV near Chuck E Cheese.  Just a short walk on this wet and windy day.

The kids are off from school so Quinn came along.  The girls didn't see the appeal in watching us stand in line, get a sticker, and come home.  But Quinn will still happily go wherever I go.  He holds my hand and hops along in an un-rhythmic manner that would send me off balance if he were much bigger.

I'm disheartened by how contentious politics have become in Wisconsin.  I know that's the case nationwide, but the ugliness stirred up around the recall election a couple of years ago has twisted things in a manner that cuts deeply.  It's personal in a way that isn't healthy.  People don't just disagree, they are offended, and that makes reasonable discussion very hard.  But I hold out hope that there may still be causes we can all rally around regardless of the political labels we choose.  We just have to be willing to listen to each other, and not default to talking points we've heard others spew out of some sense of competition.

And I hold out hope that elections matter.  Despite the obscene amounts of money involved and the backroom dealings and the party agendas, I still believe in the possibility of change based on the voice of the people.  There are many places in the world where that possibility does not exist.  We take too much for granted here.  We don't appreciate how much power we potentially wield with our simple votes.  It's a tremendous thing that the vote of the richest person is weighted the same as the poorest.  That I can choose whomever I want or write in someone else on a ballot with impunity.

That's what America is really about to me.  The freedom to choose a life that suits us.  It will always be complicated living in a society where those different choices impact each other and compromises must be struck in order to keep things running as a whole, but America for the most part is about possibilities.  I believe that.  And I want my children to believe that.

Use your voice.  Go vote.


  1. Yes. Yes to so much of what you wrote. It's so ugly. I awoke early this morning with a sick kiddo, contemplating the state of our world and politics and desperately wished there were some way to make it all more amiable and agreeable once more. :sigh:

    1. I don't know if it was ever agreeable. It's probably more civil than it used to be, historically. I just wish it didn't feel so personal, but that's probably just because I care. (Lots of things in life are easier when you just don't care!)

  2. You know... I've never actually voted in person. You CAN vote in person in this state, but I signed up to vote by absentee ballot when I was 18 and in college and moving a lot and have just never changed it (although I did get myself properly registered for the county I now live in, once we bought the house). It might be kind of fun to go in and vote in person at some point!

    1. That's interesting. I know in Oregon they only do voting by mail anymore, so you can't "go to the poll" even though my husband remembers going with his mom to do that when he was a kid. They should probably do it by mail everywhere to avoid most problems, but I really like going to the polling station and putting my ballot in the counter.