Tuesday, March 07, 2006
Today I served as an election judge. This meant I had to be at the polling place at 6:15 AM, and I didn't get to leave till 7:15 PM. Right now my brain is fuzzy. I'm tired. When I got home, a stack of mail and phone messages awaited me. And tomorrow will be crazy, because I have to pack and leave town for a week.
I'll be honest. For several weeks I've been dreading today and wishing I hadn't agreed to serve as election judge. But it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. In fact, it had its moments of downright inspiration. Like when a little old woman hobbled in on her cane, determined to do her patriotic duty. It must have taken her five minutes just to cross the room. Another woman arrived unassisted in a wheelchair. She'd already gone to a different polling place and was told she needed to vote at ours. So she'd re-wrestled her chair into the car, driven across town, and repeated the painstaking process. And yet she wheeled herself into our precinct with a smile on her face.
When my alarm went off at 5:30 this morning, I groaned. I didn't want to drag myself out of bed and sit at a table all day. But watching these proud Americans go the extra mile to exercise their rights humbled me and reminded me that voting is a privilege. We have freedom and a voice in our country. Many people around the world can't say that.
There are more than 1800 registered voters in my precinct. A total of 134 voted in this primary. Apparently I'm not the only one who needed an attitude adjustment.
If you're old enough, vote. Why? Because you can, and you should want to keep it that way.