Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Joy of Voting

The polls in Michigan opened at 7:00 am this morning. I pulled into the parking lot where I vote at exactly 7:00am. I got the last parking space. My heart started racing and I got tears in my eyes because I don't think I've ever seen that lot full before. I walked into the building at 7:01. I looked at the clock on my way out and it was 8:05am. 65 minutes in and out. My ballot was number 127. I was #130 to feed my ballot into the machine.

Some elections, I was that high of a number at 5pm. Not at the opening of the polls. It was very exciting, everyone was excited, polite, talkative even. No one mentioned who they were voting for, but we all agreed that the excitement about this election is palpable. Even though none of us talked about who we were voting for, the word "change" kept echoing throughout the hall and the gym where we were lined up.

None of us complained about having to wait in line so long. Several of us even mentioned that we felt excited to be waiting in line to vote rather than being able to just walk right in and be the only one at a booth like happens so often. I joked with a few people that I was having fun waiting in line. It felt like being at Cedar Point, only this time waiting in line means something!!

One of the conversations I had was with a couple who were retired. I think they were in their late fifties or early sixties. As we were talking, we were reflecting on the fact that so many young people are getting involved in this election and people are talking about the enormity of this moment. As I was talking with them, I revealed that my dad had helped with one of the campaigns, I did not reveal which one. The husband asked me if my dad tried to influence the votes of me and the other kids. I told him that my dad told us all to vote our concsience, but this is why he is voting for his chosen candidate. I told them how much fun I had at Pop's party in June when me and Tim and a bunch of the kids and a couple other of my generation were sitting around politics and how proud I was that my nieces and nephews were so very thoughtful and insightful in forming their own opinions. I revealed how in that room we ranged from conservative to liberal and we enjoyed the discussion and respected one another's opinions and had fun in the arguments. The husband got kind of a look of wonderment on his face and said that that is incredible that one family can have such a range of positions and have an open and lively debate and that we respect one another's differences.

Once again, I have been reminded how incredible my family is. For those of you in my family reading this, thank you so much for being a part of me and allowing me to be a part of you. I feel so blessed to have come from such an awesome and diverse group of people, no matter what diasagreements or crap we have had to deal with from one another. I love you all and I am so honored to be one of you.

If today is still Tuesday November 4 when you read this and you haven't voted yet, GO VOTE AS IF YOUR LIBERTY DEPENDS UPON IT!! It is an honor and a privelege and a responsibility as an American citizen.