Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Here in Washington State, I have already mailed in my ballot several days ago. We switched to mail-in ballots a couple of years ago. It has its advantages and disadvantages, of course. There's time to really go over the candidates and issues listed on the ballot, do a little research, and make an informed choice. But I miss getting dressed up, going down to the local elementary school as a family, greeting the precinct workers who all knew us, and filling in the bubbles with a black pen. I liked having my signature checked and having someone verify that my ballot was counted. When we were first married, we lived out in the rural part of the county and our precinct's polling place was the local grange hall; how's that for small-town America?!
Last night, my son (who's very excited and interested in the campaign this year) and I sat down and watched the latest episode of Saturday Night Live's Presidential Bash. Matt's a year and a half older than I was when I watched my first national party convention on television in 1980, and it's great to see that his enthusiasm was as strong as mine was back then. Unfortunately, I never got to vote for Ronald Reagan, the only presidential candidate that I've really been passionate about. Unlike most individuals, I've become less conservative as I get older (the normal trend is to be more liberal in your youth and become more conservative as you age), and less and less enthusiastic about the choices available for either major party. Anyway, watching SNL was a hoot, and I have to say that if McCain wins the election, Tina Fey's career will explode. She's a riot to watch, and I thoroughly enjoyed her portrayal of Palin!
As excited as my son is about this election, my daughter is equally disappointed. She misses an opportunity to vote by exactly one week. That's right, she turns 18 on the 11th, and her only consolation is that her cousin misses it by three days!
While we Americans are all are probably suffering from EBS (Election Burnout Syndrome, not to be confused with IBS--irritable bowel syndrome--although the gut-wrenching symptoms may appear similar), we can all take pride in the fact that we belong to a great nation which every few years has an opportunity to peacably change its government from the President down to the local mayor. Don't forget that some of the most important votes on your ballot have nothing to do with the presidential campaign; your federal and local congressional choices and local politicians will have a great deal of input about the taxes and laws you'll live with in the future, as well as those important initiatives and referenda.
Go out and make an informed decision; exercise your right to vote!