Friday, October 10, 2008

Today I voted in the most important US presidential election of my lifetime

Maybe a little dramatic? Maybe not. I am 4000 miles away but I still want my vote to count! Today is the day that I mailed in my official ballot, voting for my presidential & vice-presidential candidates. Today, then, is my November 4th! No one handed me a little flag sticker afterwards. I had no sense of active participation - no discussions around the water cooler, and no live television with minute-by-minute coverage of what’s happening state-by-state. There was none of the usual Election Day excitement. Just me and my ballot. Very quiet and still I feel good about having voted. I'll just have to tune into CNN World on election day, and I'm sure I'll get the full brunt, I mean, sense of it then!

The voting process from abroad was actually fast and simple. If I was a registered voter at our last residence (which I was), then I was simply required to send in a request for an absentee ballot. In less than two weeks, I received it by mail. The official ballot was much bigger than I anticipated - can you believe it took up almost half my café table? And, surprisingly, or not, it was bi-lingual (spanish and english) which I can imagine angers some people to no end. I'm totally fine with that, by the way, and let's not go there. To fill out the ballot I had to use ink, either black or blue....and fill in the entire box in ink. Let's hope there are no more dimple problems, or chads to worry about.... although in all reality, I have no idea how my vote gets processed once it arrives at the Kane County Clerk's office. I trust (I hope) someone is going to look after it well.

I wanted to tell the world THAT I VOTED! I keep hearing that this is expected to be the highest voter turn out ever. I hope that's true. I hope EVERYBODY gets out & votes. That includes all the first-timers (like Grant, my 20-year-old nephew, who actually, I have no doubts about!), and absolutely everybody. Despite the debacle of the 2000 election, I still want to believe that every vote counts. I think the candidates may be right about at least this: it may be the most important election of our lifetime, given the current issues we are facing.

I won't tell you which way I voted. I will only say that to those who know me, it's no surprise. ;)

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