Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Vote early and vote often

I voted in person for the first time in my life today--I voted two years ago but from overseas with an absentee ballot--it wasn't even that scary. My own family isn't very politically active, but Andrew's family is. Andrew's dad enjoys propagating the phrase "Vote early, vote often." He (and Karen and Andrew) even did vote early this year, though only once. I went to vote today after picking Rachel up from school.

When I told her that we wouldn't be going straight home but that we'd be going to vote first she clapped her hands together and declared, "That's perfect, Mom, because we didn't go on a field trip today and so going to vote can be our field trip."

They often have "Field Trip Tuesdays" at her school, though not always, and Rachel loves going on these outings. Usually if they didn't go on a field trip and you ask her what she did at school the first thing she'll say is, "Well, we didn't go on a field trip." Then you have to goad her into telling you what she actually did do. I don't mind the field trips at all. I think field trips are educational.

We hardly had to wait in line at all, which was nice, and Rachel was as perfect as could be while we were waiting because she was "on a field trip." I wonder if I can tell her that her life is a field trip...then maybe she'd behave nicely all the time.

The voting was done on little touch-screen computers. I let Rachel help me check the boxes, mostly on the ones where there was only one person running and there wasn't really any way to mess it up. I wonder if that's legal. No one stopped me...so I guess it was okay. A volunteer even gave her an "I Voted Today" sticker, which she proudly wore until the minute we left the school gym where the voting took place. Then she ripped it off her shirt and handed it to me.

"I don't really like wearing stickers," she confided, "I was just being polite."

"I don't really like wearing stickers, either," I told her, "But I'm glad you were polite."

And then we walked to Naanii and Bumpa's house and I left Rachel there for the rest of the day. She had fun colouring with Auntie Josie and watching movies with Bumpa. Oh, speaking of movies--have I told you that she really likes The Wizard of Oz? She does, probably a little too much. Today while we were walking to the polls she said to me, "Mom, will you die so I can go live with Auntie Em? And she will call me Dorothy."

"Ummmm...Let me think about that. No."

"Why not?"

Oh, I don't know. Maybe because I'm crazy. But at least I voted. Did you vote? If you didn't, it's kind of everlastingly too late...but there's always next time.

Today I'm grateful for the right to vote.

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