I voted today. I love voting!
I consider it my patriotic duty to be as informed as I can about political issues and vote in each and every election.
I have done so at every opportunity–even primaries, even when living in Korea–since I was 18 years old.
Several of our state and local contests this year have outcomes that matter very much to me, my family, and my job (everything from the governor to the Board of Education), but I won’t be talking about any specific politician here, just my love for casting a ballot and appreciation of my small role in our great democracy. Maryland has lots of early voting opportunities, which is great since I will be out of town on the actual day of elections this year. I was able to take my lunch hour and wait in line to cast my ballot a full week before the actual election day. In Maryland, you can even register to vote the same day as early voting!
Where did my love of voting come from? I grew up in a DC suburb and very much enjoyed studying government in high school. However, many people I grew up with became quickly disillusioned with how insignificant your vote seems. Not me!
I remember staying up late with my college roommates for my first election night–waiting for the results to come in–and finally giving up and going to bed. It was 2000. It was a good thing I went to bed, since that was the election that took a month and a Supreme Court case to finally decide! That was quite a wake up call about both the power and the impotence of voting. Many of my fellow young voters were turned off by that historic election (one of the first where the outcome of the presidential election by electoral college was different than the popular vote), but I found it the experience instilled a kind of reverence for the way that each vote is cast and the role every ballot has in an election.
Sometimes, it is easy to get down about the results of elections if they don’t go your way. Certainly, I’ve noticed a lot more people in my life talking about politics in the last couple years–for good reasons. I have some anxieties about how policies regarding immigration will impact Min, who holds a green card. However, I feel that it is important to keep election anxiety in perspective, even during really dark times. The great news for U.S. citizens is that there is always another major election in just two years!
I appreciate that I have a voice in the direction of my state, local, and national government. I am hopeful that this year’s results will favor the ideals and values I support. I am grateful I can continue to contribute in my small way to the direction of my country.
If you haven’t done so already–VOTE! It’s powerful and important.