“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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