Time to choose


When my sister and I were little, Dad made a point of taking us along to vote.

Back in those days in Maryland, the voting booths were literal booths — complete with long curtains — and I thought it was so cool, so mysterious, to walk in and enclose yourself in that space.

Dad patiently went through the ballot, whispering to us about who was who and what was what — pretty impressive considering we were, you know, in elementary school. But my parents never talked down to us. As Dad pointed out the various candidates, he’d let Katie and I turn the little levers that would officially cast his vote. And when it was done, we’d go to lunch.

I usually vote on my own these days. Everything is electronic. I’ve cast my ballot in every election since I turned 18 — because I can. Not to get all This is America! on you, but . . . this is America. One of the tenets of our freedom is the ability to choose our elected officials. And if you think your one vote doesn’t matter, it does. Maybe now more than ever. (And I guess we say that every four years, but I believe it to be true.)

My polling place wasn’t crowded this morning — which makes me a little nervous. In 2008, I waited at least 30 minutes in line. One of the gentlemen working noted the line was out the door at 6 a.m., and I really hope that was true. Early voting was certainly popular here.

As I walked up today, I felt a twist of anxiety, just like I always do — nerves while staring at that empty ballot. Tapping out each choice. Though I’ve poured over the ballot several times, reading up on everything I thought I might need to know, there’s still a moment of hesitation. Am I making the right choice? Is this the right thing? Is he the right person?

But we can never know. We just have to choose.

And I hope you’ll choose, too.


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16 thoughts on “Time to choose

  1. I’ll definitely be voting today 🙂 As usual I’ll take one or more of my kids with me as well. Leading by example you know!

  2. Meg I agree with you about the privilege to vote. So many countries do not have a choice in who leads. i consider it a right as well as a duty to have a say in what happens to my country. What I cannot stand is those who gripe about the state of affairs in our country but admit they did not take time to vote.

    I will say that my voting experience this morning was longer than usual, but I chose to vote before work rather than after. Thankfully my last name begins with a letter in the M to Z range, so I got to go through the shorter line of those waiting to cast their vote. However, if you read stories about the legal immigrants that get to vote here they are so excited to actually have a chance to make their voice heard. They don’t mind standing in line.

    My kids love to go with my wife and I and my 17 year old son was bemoaning the truth that he will not get to vote for president until the same year his 14 year old sister does due to his May 2013 birthday. I am sure they will both continue our voting tradition.

  3. I voted early (took an hour) but my husband went this morning and it was total chaos. At 6:45am, there were no less than 200 people in line, and it took him almost 2 hours. Maybe it is the Florida thing, I don’t know. I’ll be nervous all day.

  4. I use to take Spencer in when I voted too! He couldn’t wait till he could vote when he turned 18. Not many kids are like that today. Our voting this morning was very busy. So glad to see that since I heard that they are expecting 90 MILLION people not to on TV this morning…. (and it isn’t due to the strom). I’m sorry but I want to shake people who don’t. So many talk about it but when I asked if they voted they say no what good will it do.. Come on.. My reply is always don’t talk if you don’t vote! Your vote may be the one that mattes!

  5. Lovely! We have booths, with red-white-and-blue curtains, very chaotic and crowded and comfortable. There was a bit of a wait, but it was worth it! Just read a story on FB about a woman who voted on her way to the hospital to give birth!

  6. I always went with one or the other of my parents when they voted. They let me pencil in the bubble when I was old enough. Yes, they still used pencil and paper ballots when my parents were voting when I was young.

    I’ll be taking the little one for the first time this year. It will be an adventure for her!

  7. I voted! We don’t have electronic ballots – we connect the lines on the candidate we choose. Then – and I really don’t like this part – we walk the whole thing to a machine and feed it in and I always think EVERYONE CAN SEE WHAT LINE I CONNECTED!! But who cares. I voted and we will see eventually who wins.

    • lol we don’t feed it to a machine, but we vote the same way and this makes me lol bc I was thinking the same thing, that ppl could see how I voted!

      Anyway, lovely post Meg!

  8. We’re in a new location this election & voting in a place that goes overwhelmingly for the “other” guy… made our votes feel all that much more important. Woot for democracy 😀

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