Today is election day here in the United States. We are voting to re-elect the current president or vote in a new one. This is a day that sparks so much emotion for me every time it comes around. And this year is no different for me, except the possibility that I am watching history being made in a new way. Voter registration is up alot this time around. In Illinois alone, it is reported that voter registration is up 400%! Is it just that more people are out telling people to vote and assisting them to register? I’m not sure.
I tend to believe more people across the country are seeing a new urgency and are being called to vote this year. Maybe in past years, there wasn’t such a feeling of this urgency.
The news is filled with Rallys, speeches, town hall discussions, and commercials stating why we need to vote for a certain candidate. This candidate will lower my taxes, but so will the other one according to their commercial. This one can’t be trusted...but neither can this one. And on and on it goes until my head is spinning out of control. It is no wonder that most of us can’t think or talk about anything else these days.
Over the past several months, as the candidates ramped up their campaigns, one thing is for certain, I needed to do some homework as to who I wanted to vote for. There are many openings besides just for the president of the US.
This year as a result of Covid, and the thought that there were going to be many more people voting, we decided to vote absentee ballot style. We vote in a tiny little old school house that just a few years ago got propane heat instead of stoking the woodstove. It can hardly hold 20 people at a time pre-Covid days. But now with social distancing the maximum capacity would be closer to 10-12 people. That, along with a premonition that it is going to be a record turnout this year got us voting absentee. We just din’t want to have to wait in a line outside that angled its way to the highway. Not in November, with cold and snow.
A few Sundays ago, me and the love of my life, pulled up to the kitchen table with a mug of our favorite hot drink,, our laptops and our ballots in hand. We had all the time in the world that morning to figure out who we were going to vote for. We were able to look each candidate up online and get a feel for what they stood for. We did this from presidential candidates all the way down to members of the school board. While we both had an idea of who we were going to vote for on our ballots, it was nice to reaffirm what each candidate stood for.
When it was all said and done, we filled out our ballots, put them in the designated envelopes and took them to the mailbox in town. And we were able to track them to make sure they will get counted. Just as when I would pull the voting arm in person, the emotions began to flow through me as we mailed our absentee ballots.
Everytime I cast my vote for how I would like my country to be run, I get teary-eyed and full of goosebumps. I am reminded of my two grandmas who didn’t have the opportunity to vote in their early years because they were women, but then got the right to vote when the 19th amendment was passed. That was not that long ago. My one grandma always told us grandkids that we must vote and if we didn’t we would have to keep our mouths shut and not complain how the government was run. My grandmas both were wise women. I vote because I honor them in so doing.
And I think of my family members who fought in the military to keep our country free and working for all of us because we have the right and the duty to vote. They all came home from the wars, but some are still fighting inner wars from their tours of duty.
And lastly, I have grandkids that count on me and their parents to vote to keep this country working for all of its citizens, regardless of our views and walks in life.
So yeah, voting makes me emotional, it is just that important.
If you haven't already, please go out and vote for a better country and a better world. Tell them Sue sent you.