Rise To Vote Sir

Feeling a little backwards today.

Palindromes were one of my father’s favorite things. Madam I’m Adam- Able was I ere I saw Elba. I wish he could’ve seen this. (which is where I got the title)

The point however- was not palindromes but Voting. I got my sticker from Moms Rising today (I signed up for it so long ago I’d forgotten that I’d done so) & coincidentally my Obama stickers & 1 of the signs I ordered also arrived. (I guess they’re out of the yard signs)

I also finished watching Uncounted on the DVR last night & was feeling rather odd in general about everything voting related. I was thinking of my first voting ever (Dukakis against Bush1 in 1988) Which was done by absentee ballot because while I was living with my grandmother in Haverhill I hadn’t given up my residence at my parent’s house in Rockland yet (If I remember correctly I may have had some residual insurance from my mother which meant I had to act as if I was still there – in spite of being in Virginia- Haverhill- Maine & New Hampshire 98% of the time.)

I started thinking about how depressing & anti climactic voting by absentee was. I had grown up being taken with my parents when they went to vote & was not pleased about missing the drama of going to the high school – especially in the later years when I ‘should’ have been going there myself.

My mother never missed an election & always voted. My father always acompanied her & often voted on questions. He never voted for anyone (or at least almost never- he did occasionally vote against some people) He always said not to vote for politicians because ‘it only encourages them’ And he at least always told me he voted for Dizzy Gillespie if I was rude enough to ask if he had voted & for whom.

The year Clinton beat Bush1 The ex- ms 18 & I were living in an apartment in our hometown of Rockland. We lived close enough to the High School to walk over & vote & my friend J parked at our place & walked with us. She was a political science major in college & was maintaining that we would be voting for her in 20 years or so. She also flat out refused to discuss her choice for president that year. Since the ex & I were pretty open in our choice of Clinton I do believe she voted for Bush1. I wouldn’t have put it past her to vote for Perot though.

When Clinton ran for re-election Ms 12 was an infant. I went to the Library with the ex to vote but I’d been taken off the rolls (even though I had voted in the primary) somehow & had to go over to city hall to re-instate my vote – they explained it would be a provisional ballot (I heard more on this in Uncounted too) and since my 6 month old began to scream half-way through their explanation I had to give it up for the day & leave keeping the U.S. safe for democracy to everyone else. (they didn’t let me down)

We were here in VA from September of 97 forward & so 2000 was my first election down here- I had voted in the gubernatorial elections previously & so was bemused but not surprised by the antiquated actual lever activated voting machine- similar to the ones my parents voted on when I was very young – in much more up-to date MA.

The ex left me permanently November 8 2000- the Mess of that election is tied up in my mind with the death throes of my marriage – not a pretty sight either way. I do remember we had two facing couches in the trailer living room with the tv at the foot of them. We each sat on one couch & watched that count up & back. He wasn’t working at the time (nothing new) & it seemed like we sat there for days (we did- at least 3 or 4 of them) watching them hash it out on CNN & recount and arguing about what happened next in our lives during the commercial breaks.

2004 I was worried & it turns out with good reason. I had Tuesdays off back then. I went early & was one of only 2 or 3 people there at the time. I was not happy to see touch screen voting booths but what can you do? Of course Kerry lost. 2006 I stood in line- for quite awhile but my ‘team’ won so it was worth it. I’m not looking forward to this year. After the 2006 senate race I worry about going before work because what if they’re crowded & I’m late to work? And I worry about going after work because what if there’s a long line they close the polls before I get to vote?

I have made up my mind that I’ll go before work & if I’m late my company will have to deal with it. There’s no help for it at all. I’m not going to shirk my civic duty for my paycheck.

Picture notes: Mr 9 with fake tattooed vampire bite marks from my vampire safety kit courtesy of my workplace (he says his teachers just shook their heads & his classmates thought they were real) one of our kittens brought downstairs by ms 12- the apparently apropriately named (by mr 9) Flash – she is remarkably quick on her tiny little paws.


2 thoughts on “Rise To Vote Sir

  1. We are close to the same age because 88 was my first election as well. The last two elections, things have not been going our way but I am hopeful that it will be different this year!!! (GO Obama!)

    I think voting in the morning is smart. I have an advantage where I work. My boss is big in the Democratic Party here in Winchester so we get to vote during work hours and may even get to work the polls or drive others to the polls. It’s a very good thing!

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