No sarcasm or snark needed. I just really love voting. Since I turned 18, the only elections I haven’t voted in were ones I was in jail during. The 2004 election was the most painful one for me, not because Kerry lost to Bush, but because I couldn’t vote.
I french pressed some Kenyan coffee this morning, grabbed a bagel, and made it to my polling place by 8 am. As per PA law, they asked me if I had my ID with me and were very polite when I refused to show it. (As a side note, we need to start getting ID’s for those who need them now. Like it or not, chances are the voter ID law will be in effect for the next election.) The local paper had a front page feature explaining that ID would be requested but not required, and the poll workers at my polling location seemed really helpful; I heard them explain to a few elderly voters that even though they were asking for ID, they didn’t need to show it to vote, making sure they understood the law and that they didn’t have to go home and get their ID if they forgot it. Of course, I live in a deep red congressional district and my precinct is overwhelmingly white and elderly. To be honest, I am not sure if a single minority voter is registered in my precinct. (Not kidding either. While there is a city in my congressional district, the suburb I live in is whiter than wonder bread.) I can only hope the poll workers in minority majority districts are as patient and helpful.
I spent a few minutes after voting outside talking to possibly the most outspoken conservative in a town filled with conservatives. As much as we disagree on every single political issue, there is one thing we agree wholeheartedly on; that informing yourself and voting is not just a right, but a civic duty. Though we spend much of the time we are in the same room either arguing with or rolling our eyes at each other, today he shook my hand, called me a patriot, and said “I don’t agree with you, but at least I know you aren’t a low information voter.”
And you know what? I still think he is batshit insane, but at least he gives a shit. He’ll be standing out front of the fire hall all day urging people who are already going to to vote for Romney. And once I post this, I will be back on the road, delivering coffee and snacks to democrats working outside some of the reddest polling places in the state.
At the end of the day, one of us is going to be very disappointed. And I hope it is going to be him, as much as I am sure he hopes it will be me.
But both of us will sleep well, knowing we did our part.
Do not wake up tomorrow wishing you would have made the time to vote. Do not spend the next 4 years like I spent the 4 after Kerry lost, thinking “if only I would have done something to make a difference.”