Sunday, November 9, 2008

Voting was worth the wait

Something happened to me on Tuesday when I went to vote at the firehouse where we cast our ballots in my somewhat rural township.
I had to wait in line. For 30 minutes.
Earlier my daughter had to wait in line. For an hour.
It was a wonderful sight to see.
Why wonderful, you ask? What’s so great about having to stand in line to vote?
Because, in my opinion, it showed that a lot of people actually cared about this election; they actually made the commitment to cast their ballot, no matter how long it took.
When compared to the lines in some areas of this nation, my wait was hardly worth mentioning.
But when you consider that, generally, there is no line at my polling place, no sense that people are really all that charged up about an election, Tuesday certainly was a day to remember.
I only wish that when local elections are held that the same number of people would show up.
Alas, that’s probably too much to ask.
We’ll have to wait and see.
But even I haven’t been this psyched about an election in a long time. Yes, I can still remember the first time I was eligible to vote. It was a heady time and I couldn’t wait to get into a voting booth and have my say.
I may not have the greatest track record in picking winners in presidential elections, but I do always vote.
And, unlike some people who were in line with me on Tuesday, I vote in all elections — not just the presidentials.
This election, some say, evoked strong memories of when John F. Kennedy ran for president.
That was long before I was old enough to vote, but I vaguely remember adults worrying about JFK being a Catholic and what that might mean for the nation.
I was too busy in elementary school at the time, learning how to duck and cover under my desk or in the school hallway in case someone dropped a bomb on us to give an election much thought, however.
And I can still remember being confused about all the talk of the “Cold War.” I figured, having only seen pictures of the U.S.S.R.’s snow-covered cities and tundra, that it must somehow be connected to the climate.
I just thought it was kind of neat that JFK had a young family. So much for political savvy when you’re in grade school.
Yes, Tuesday was special indeed. Both candidates fought the good fight. There were highlights and lowlights along the way, to be sure, and plenty of lessons can be learned on both sides.
But regardless of which man was your chosen candidate, it’s time to unite as a nation and back our new leader.
Those who wanted others, such as Hillary Clinton, to be the next president were able to do that after the primaries ended.
And now it’s time to do the same where Barack Obama is concerned.
This historic election will be analyzed from every angle imaginable, to be sure.
But one truth is self evident: Your vote does count.
Now, let’s see how long we can make the lines when we turn out to vote for local candidates.

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