“Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.”

Our usual Cape spring has returned. The morning is chilly, even in the sun, and we are expecting 50’s every day this week with even colder nights. I was spoiled by the wonderfully warm April.

The pine pollen is here. My car is covered in lime green powder, and the deck  too has a coating. I’m sneezing.

Today are my town elections. The only race is for selectman where four people are running for two spots. I just voted at the police station, and there was no line and no wait. Local elections don’t bring out many people. Only about 30% of the town votes. I never miss one. I’d feel too guilty.

My first time ever voting was in the presidential election of 1968. I had turned twenty one in August of the previous summer and registered to vote the very next day. I was excited to vote, to be part of the electorate, and believed that even one vote was a voice heard. I remember standing in the voting booth behind the curtain and reading my ballot. I had done my homework and knew every candidate and every issue. Back then we used a black pen to fill in the circles beside our choices, and I took my time to fill them exactly as I had been instructed. I didn’t want to mess up my first election. My candidate did not win. I was keenly disappointed.

The next time I voted was by absentee ballot in Ghana for a state senatorial election. The ballot got to me too late, but I voted and sent it back anyway. That year my candidate won, even without me.

I still believe in voting and see it as the most basic duty for a citizen, at least for this citizen. I don’t always have a candidate for whom I’d vote so sometimes I just vote the issues. This little town still uses black pens to fill in circles on the ballots. This morning I filled in two circles for selectman and chose yes circles for both issues. When I checked out, I was a given an I voted sticker. I’m proud to wear it.

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16 Comments on ““Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.””

  1. sprite Says:

    I believe in Australia it’s mandatory to show up to the polling place, even if you then cast a blank ballot. I’m not sure what the penalties are for failing to do so (or if they’re enforced), but I like the idea of compulsory participation.

    Of course, I also like the idea that if you didn’t care enough to cast a ballot that you shouldn’t be allowed to complain about the government for the duration of that term in office. Impossible to enforce, but tantalizingly appealing.

    • Bob Says:

      G’day, yes it’s compulsory to vote in Australia, in all elections, from local council elections to federal elections. Defaulters are fined and this law is strictly enforced. Any spoiled ballot papers are referred to as informal votes. We also must number each candidate on the paper in order of preference, numbering the boxes from top to bottom in sequence ( 1 to whatever) is called donkey voting. If our first preference dose not get enough votes then the vote is given to the second preference and so on (preferential voting)I have never heard anyone complaining about about being compelled to vote, usually they can’t wait to ‘get in and have a go’ at the powers that be!

      • katry Says:

        Bob,
        That’s exactly how I feel,‘get in and have a go’, but I suspect it is not universal. Many people don’t ever vote. They couldn’t be bothered. I have never understood that.

    • katry Says:

      sprite,
      I often wondered if those complainers had cast their votes. I’ve always like the quote, “Bad politicians are sent to Washington by good people who don’t vote.”

      I’m not so sure that mandatory voting is a good thing.

  2. Christer Says:

    I remember the first tiem I voted, I felt a bit important :-) But I can´t for my life remember on what party I woted :-) :-) We have it a bit different over here when voting. First and foremost we vote on a party, but nowdays we can put an x infront of a name if we want to (the parties has a list of their candidates printed on the ballot).

    The party then gets that many places in the parliament in procentage as they got votes in the country. I hope You can understand how I mean. If a party gets 10% of the votes it gets 10% of the places in the parliament. Usually 80% of us votes on the election for the parliament. But when it comes to the European parliament we´re not that interested, only around 44% votes then.

    Cool and sunny here today. Wish I could have been at home enjoying it :-)
    Have a great day now!
    Christer.

    • katry Says:

      Christer,
      That’s exactly how I still feel, important and special when I vote. Many people here vote along party lines, never even considering a candidate from an opposing party. I usually vote the person.

      I totally understand your voting system.

      My heat is blasting-it is cold, not chilly, cold!

  3. Zoey & Me Says:

    You had to have voted for McGovern, so did I. He ran on ending the war in VietNam and I was still dodging the draft by staying in school and applying to the local board for summer deferment. He lost and so did I. April 15th, 1969 I was drafted into the US Army. Good post Kat!

    • katry Says:

      Z&Me,
      I did vote for McGovern. I saw the choice as a no brainer. There was no question he was going to lose, but I didn’t care.

      It has always been a matter of pride for me to say Massachusetts voted for McGovern.

  4. hedley Says:

    Kat

    Sometimes things happen that you really cannot expect

    If you or any of the Kat Klub have a facebook account, you can entertain yourselves by entering the world “Heineken” in seach and following the link to the “UEFA Champions League presented by Heineken”

    One minute I am thinking about pooper scooping and next thing I get this very strange phone call :-)

    • katry Says:

      My Dear Hedley,
      I’m guessing you signed up for the mobile phone calls. I’m jumping around the site and even followed the trophy to Boston.

      • hedley Says:

        Kat, I dont quite know how to get you to the right page which is “UEFA Champions League Final presented by Heineken”…but I received a call last Tuesday that I was the grand prize winner for 4 people to attend the Final in Madrid on May 22.

        We hit the road next Thursday and then I move on to China so over 10 days I will be Detroit to DC to Madrid to Helsinki to Beijing to Xian to Lhasa to Chengdu and in to Shanghai.

        Can you say…Road Warrior !

  5. splendid Says:

    Oh Hedley i love that: ” the kat klub”

    i have always been proud and honored to be a voting citizen. sometimes it has felt like it didn’t matter but i did it anyway ~ especially local!

    xoxoxoxoxo

    • katry Says:

      splendid,
      I like seeing the designation active voter next to my name. Today, the voting was sparse. I’m always sorry about that. It seems the people who run our town should be supported by the whole town.

      • katry Says:

        My Dear Hedley,
        That is superb-I can imagine your excitement. They have chosen well, a true fan of the game.

        Is that it? Is that your only trip? (said she tongue in cheek)

  6. reddog Says:

    I didn’t vote while I was in the Navy. I’m not sure why. I may have been too drunk the whole time. Otherwise I have always voted, usually for the lesser of two evils.

    Most of the candidates I like don’t get elected and those that do usually end up reviled. I liked Jimmy Carter, voted for him twice and think he was the greatest modern President.

    I remain a big fan of Jerry Brown in California.

    My proudest vote was for Shirley Chisholm in the ’72 primary. She would have been a better President than Richard Nixon or George McGovern.

    • katry Says:

      reddog,
      Like you, I have not had many of my candidates elected, except for Jimmy Carter, the first time. Like you, I also voted for him for re-election.

      I voted for McGovern against Nixon just as I had voted for Humphrey against Nixon.


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