Today is Election Day here in the U.S.A.
Today is the day that each adult American citizen has the duty to exercise his or her right to VOTE -- to choose the people who will be governing the country, the state, the county, and even the town in which he or she lives. It's the day each of us gets to have a say in who writes our laws, who runs our courthouses, who audits our county books. It's the day each of us gets to choose (in some states anyway) whether to keep the judges who have been making decisions about our fellow citizen's lives for the past four years, or to select new ones. If you've not done it already, get out there and vote!
Today is also the day that our local community tests its early warning system in case of disaster. They test all of the tornado warning sirens. I wonder if one ought to read any ominous portents into the fact that for some folks, the warning sirens will be going off as they enter or leave their polling places. Here's hoping not.
This year, there has been a lot of "early voting". While I admit that early voting seems weird to me, and that I have paranoid concerns about how the results of early voting will affect the reporting over the course of this day as to who has won or lost which precinct, and how that may affect "on time" voting, over all I suspect that all this early voting will actually mean that more people will be voting at all.
This year, there also seem to be more polling places. The place I used to vote at is still there, doing business as usual, but another has opened closer to me. Oddly, at least for people with warped brains like mine, at least half of our local polling places are in churches (other communities seem to use schools, civic centers, union halls, VFW's and the like). While I applaud the community service that the churches are doing, it still seems weird to vote in a church when our constitution provides for a separation of church and state.
I'm a big fan of voting. More than that. I think it's not only our right as American Citizens (or frankly, as citizens of any country where voting is possible), to vote -- it's our duty. We must participate in our communities, and in the governance of our communities, cities, counties, states and our country. Even if you're voting against my preferred candidate, I'd rather you voted than sat home grumbling.
So, this morning, I voted. On time. On THE day. I kind of like that.
And this morning, I thanked the half dozen or so people sitting there at the polling place for their service to our community. If you've not yet voted, please be sure to thank those folks when you go in. They get there at some ungodly hour of the morning (like 5:00 a.m.), and stay all day. They're not done until the last vote has been cast, the doors have been closed, and ALL the votes have been tabulated. Even with our wondrous modern technology, this means that they may not go home until our clock's tell us it's tomorrow. (Not only that, but they worked yesterday to prepare, and will be working again tomorrow).
Best of all.... TODAY is the last day we'll have to listen to (or watch) those appalling negative ads! I'd like to start a letter writing campaign - tell both parties that we find those ads offensive, not informative, and that fear mongering is not the way to encourage responsible voting!