Sunday, October 12, 2008

I have voted!

I was privileged to cast my vote on Friday afternoon. My daughter Lillian (sporting a red, white, and blue Obama button) and I drove to the courthouse (the elections office is in the old yellow-brick federal building on First Avenue, one of three county courthouses in current use.) Signs led us to the second floor where we sat around a big boardroom table and filled out the forms. There were another dozen or so voters coming or going while we were there.

I was aggravated that despite being encouraged by state and local opfficials to "vote early" we were told that we had to mark the form "absentee" instead of "early voting" and choose one of several categories of reasons we could not vote on November 4. The truth is that I will be in town on the fourth. By voting early I am clearing the way for at least one voter to get in and out of the Town Rome precinct a little more conveniently on the actual "Election Day". In addition I can do some volunteer work that day to encourage more folks to get to the polls. Those reasons were not listed.

We handed our forms to an attendant and he soon returned with our little yellow plastic voting "credit cards". About six voting computer stations were scattered around a big courtroom.

Aggravation number two: I had to cast an electronic ballot with no paper trail in a state completely controlled by the political party I detest, one whose vice presidential candidate accuses the leader of my party of "palling around with terrorists". Why in the world should I trust this process?

I slid the card in and the screen lit up and the first race listed Barack Obama and Joe Biden for President and Vice President. I savored my proudest vote for a Presidential candidate since 1976. The pride I felt that year in being able to cast a vote for a native Georgian in whom I had great confidence was quite moving. This year I was privileged to exercise my sacred franchise to not only support the candidate whose programs and policies I support, but to support a candidate whose election will be a major step in putting race aside as a divisive issue in America.

Lillian and I were already at the car when we realized we'd neglected to pick up our stickers. We wanted folks to know we'd voted. So back inside, up the stairs to get the stickers.

Let everyone know. We have voted!

God bless America.

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