I’m a strange person. I know this. There are few things that make me as happy as paying bills and filing my taxes. But another of those things is VOTING!
I have expressed on this blog that this year I didn’t feel as excited as I have in the past voting in the US general election. But I filled out my ballot anyway, for our home district/state in the US, and Jeff and I individually emailed them back to the county elections board back home. Our district has some close races. Our votes could make a real difference. They sure did last election.
I did not look at how he voted and he did not look at how I voted. Sure, we discuss politics all the time. We watch what is going on in the US. In the world. As any household does. But, on ballot initiatives we did our own research and voted our own conscience. As it should be. After we sent them back, Jeff asked me how I voted on this one, or that one. I was unsurprised we were not always the same. I lean in a little harder than he does on some things. But on the big things, we are aligned.
Little ‘d’ Democracy depends on citizen participation in keeping our institutions healthy and our voices heard. And we did our part from a small farm 7,000 miles away. So, if you are reading this in the US over your hot morning beverage, if Jeff and I can vote all the way from Spain, so can you! You don’t even have to print and scan your own ballot like we do. So, it’s pretty easy for you. Just put down your phone, finish your vente soy chai/extra hot/no -foam latte (Damn, I’m sat here salivating just dreaming about that drink) and get up, get dressed, and get out your mail-in ballot and fill it in. Then drop it off at a county ballot collection box, or pop it in the post. Or find an early voting station in your area. Or register to vote, if it’s not too late in your state. Or make a plan to vote on election day, if that is your only choice. Call your friends and relatives – your kids away at college – and remind them to vote. Democracy needs you – no matter your party affiliation.
I just checked, and my ballot has been counted. There is something so satisfying about that. When the results come pouring in next Tuesday, we will know that we are a drop in that river of democracy in action. No matter our differences, we are all Americans who want the brightest future for our children and grandchildren. And generations to come. Voting is one of the only ways we can ensure that the ideals of the American experiment, however critically flawed and imperfect, are still here for them 50 years from now to fix it and to mold it, to make it better to fit their best future. Please, America, take a moment and VOTE.