The lovely and talented Priscilla and I went down to the county courthouse the other day to vote…vote early. Maybe we thought that by early voting we would avoid long lines at the polls, or maybe deep down and secretly we thought that by voting early all the shitty political campaign ads would suddenly stop showing on our television. Well, we did avoid the long lines (surprisingly enough we did have to wait in line at early voting, go figure!) however, the political ads didn’t magically disappear from my television…Too damn bad!
Priscilla and I keep up with politics regularly. We seem to agree on most issues. She is a bit more conservative than I am (socially). Most of the time, we agree on the candidates. Where we spend the time educating ourselves is on the referendums, amendments, and Judges. I scour the internet sourcing opinions on these matters, obtain as much information as I can, then discuss it with my wife. I then print a sample ballot. I fill it out with our decisions, then we go vote.
Then one thing that drives me bat shit crazy about elections are the races where a candidate runs unopposed. Years ago, I started writing in my own name in opposition. Dax Montana has been getting votes for State Supreme Court for years. It used to take a bit of work to write your name in. On many races, I wouldn’t vote at all. However, now with the touch screen voting system, adding my name as a write in is no trouble at all.
While standing in the voting booth, looking at the list of candidates, I felt alone. I was alone and disconnected from everyone else even if just for a moment. Then as I started to select my choices, I began to feel more and more connected to the world, the country, the state, and the county. My small disconnected world began to get very large, larger and larger with each vote cast. I felt connected to the very first citizens of my country, the founding fathers, and all who have fought and died so that I could stand in the voting booth typing my own name into the machine.
I know that some folks say they hold their nose when they vote, pick the lesser of two evils, or think that a vote to the 3rd party is a wasted vote. They are wrong. Your vote does count. If 50,000 people don’t vote because they think their vote doesn’t count…that is a political machine. If 25,000 people pick the lesser of two evils instead of the 3rd party candidate that is wasted reform. I know of several people who said that they were voting for Republicans instead of the Libertarians because they couldn’t risk the chance that the Democrats would win. Guess what? The Democrats won anyway. We have survived…poorer but wiser…maybe.
Anyway, it was funny to see my name on my wife’s ballot as I peeked over her shoulder as she cast her ballot. At least I got two votes. Hell, she might have voted for me more than I did.