It's nice to finally be home and catch up on Facebook and blogs. It just gets out of hand if I don't do it each day (about 10 times each day).
Yesterday, from 6:15 am to 9:15 pm was spent working at the polls in my precinct. I helped to set up the machines, assisted voters, ate lots of snacks, drank lots of coffee, spread on loads of hand sanitizer, and tallied up votes all day long. And, frankly, it was quite a lot of fun. I love seeing who my neighbors are, finding out where they live, and learning to which political party they are affiliated. I also get to find out their ages. A definite perk. I do earn a bit (a small bit) of money from this and I sure appreciate that before the holidays. However, I would still do it if I earned nothing. I do feel like a small, but important, cog in the workings of democracy.
This morning I read the paper to see if my chosen candidates won. Many did. I don't feel I have too much to complain about. But if I did have cause to complain, well, I feel I have earned the right to complain. I voted. I learned that in my neck of the woods (Centre County, PA), that only 26% of registered voters actually showed up at the polls. I know that there are often reasonable excuses for not showing up. Life happens.
I am impressed at those who vote no matter what. We have a large population of elderly in my neighborhood. So many came in yesterday relying on canes, wheelchairs, and the arms of friends and relatives. Those who know that they can't make it ever again vote absentee. A man showed up in the afternoon, voted, and then asked if we could send out a ballot to a relative that was in the hospital. We couldn't. Yet, near closing time, the recently released woman came in to vote. I think that if her candidates were not elected, then she can complain all she wants.
Twenty-six percent of Centre County residents can complain today if they wish. Seventy-four percent will have to live with the cards they have been dealt for the next two, or four, or six years.
And remember, if you're not happy with the candidates running, you can always write in for Mickey Mouse or Michael Jackson or Mother Teresa. At the end of the evening, I'll just have to write each and every one of those write-in names down in quadruplicate and curse your ballot under my breath.
It's your right. Don't treat it like a burden.