Tag Archives: voting

Those People Who Sit Outside the Polls

I voted today. I’ve voted in every primary and election since I turned 18–except one. (I missed a special millage vote that happened in May one year. May elections are rare in these parts, and the postcard from the school asking for the tax increase came two days after the special election. I still feel bad about missing it.)

Voting is not only a privilege, but a civic responsibility. If you don’t vote, I question whether you deserve citizenship. (I also an in favor of automatic registration and removing impediments that interfere with people finding time to vote. The system should work FOR people.)

Every time I vote, there are people standing outside that 100-yard perimeter handing out pamphlets for candidates. I’ve done this myself, mostly in school board elections and when Wife ran for Township Supervisor.

Today, there was a “pro-life” advocate. Normally I’d ignore those people, but today the pair of women got under my skin. Two white, over-50 women who, from the way they were dressed, do not have the slightest clue what it’s like to scramble for a meal, stood there, smiling and making snide comments. (My main issue with “pro-life” people is that they abandon the child/family as soon as the kid is born. Also, my cousin’s wife was forced to carry a dead fetus from the 7th to the 9th month because of a ban on late-term abortions. Put yourself in her shoes for a day and let that horror sink in.)

In their “discussion” as Wife and I left, they made negative comments about candidates who were not vehemently “pro-life”–and then they started bitching about the gays being allowed to marry.

I did not punch anyone.

I did turn around and say, wide-eyed, “Oh, no! Not the gays!” I would have said more, but Wife pulled me away. Seriously–they’re upset about marriage equality. I spent the next two hours fuming. I hate that I let these bigots get under my skin. Hate it.

And that is my voting adventure for today.

Votes for Hillary

This is a political one. Let me begin by saying that I don’t require your political views to be mine, and I don’t need anyone’s approval or validation.

I turned 18 in 1991, and I voted for the first time at the 1992 primary. As a freshman in college, I was all about being well-versed in my political choices. My parents (at the time) were independents, and so I learned to approach all elections with an open mind.

In 1992, I wanted so badly to vote for Hillary Rodham Clinton. I settled for voting for Bill, but in my head, I wanted her. Why? Because she’s a lot like me. She cares about people, especially underprivileged women and children. She wanted universal health care, an issue that was of sudden importance to me because I was about to be kicked off my parents’ insurance. There were many other reasons, but I liked her a lot.

Mostly she’s a pragmatist. I’ve been derided by people close to me for being a pessimist, which I find insulting. I’m not a pessimist—I’m a realist. I believe any goal can be achieved, but it takes hard work, a great plan, flexibility, and persistence to get there. It took me seven years to finish my undergraduate degree. As I searched to find my path in life, I attended three different colleges, including a community college and two universities. My path wasn’t easy, and I had to make compromises and take detours, but I persevered. Just like HRC.

In the last 24 years, I’ve only missed voting once, on a millage renewal that happened suddenly in May when nothing else was on the ballot. I still feel bad about that. Due to local politics—when you live in a predominantly red area, a primary often determines who is elected to represent you on a local and state level—I’ve voted on the Republican primary ticket every year except 1992 and 2016.

I’ve waited my whole life to see a woman in power. I want my daughters to see the heights a woman with a plan can achieve.