Monday, November 06, 2006

I Have to Sit the Game Out!

I have had the mental image of taking my 4 year old to the polls tomorrow. We would patiently wait through the lines. I would answer a million and one questions about where we were and why we were there. We would step up to the machine and I would touch the screen, placing my opinion where it counts. We would walk out, me offering to let him wear my "I voted" sticker, and if like last time, me feeling immensly patriotic. I couldn't wait.

Wake up. Dream images over.

In an effort to make sure all ducks were in a row for tomorrow, I got my voters registration card out and realized it was dated June of '04. I called the Voters Registration office and their mailbox is full. I got online to the website, typed in my info and I see my name with a big "INACTIVE" next to it. I called the local Registration office again and find out the bad news. I can not get my status active before tomorrow. I actually got misty eyed. I do not consider voting to be my right or my obligation or my responsibility. I consider it my honor. And this year, I can not participate. I feel empty. Left out. I want to kick myself only I can't reach me.

I can't vote tomorrow but if you can, GO! Your opinion usually doesn't matter. Most of the time people view it as "yeah, everyone has one" a nose. But not on election day. The political world lays in balance and you could tip it one way or the other. Being a woman I especially appreciate my opinion being recognized.

My ability to vote is relatively new. Historically, only the men folk could make big decisions. Women were too frail to be a part of the process. Living in the South further makes me appreciate the honor of voting. Although the "Southern Belle" image is widely publicised, let me tell you what it is really like. Women are still viewed in many aspects as inferior to men. We are like children, (eye candy) to be seen and not heard. Women aren't taken seriously.

So when I walk into our local precinct and proudly march up to the touch-screen, I am defeating mindsets and expressing my opinion.

For those new to this country, you can relate. You should feel a special pride in being able to voice your opinion. It is an honor. For those that have served previously in the military, I can only imagine your pride in voting. To the 18 year old who will vote the first'll change you. Talk about growing up and taking responsibility.

Speaking of responsibility...much like the beer responsibly. Don't vote because your pastor told you to vote a certain way. Don't vote for so and so because your Aunt voted for so and so. Do your homework. Don't vote for those that take the issues seriously. If I could vote tomorrow, I'd walk in there armed with the knowledge of what each candidate stands for and I'd vote respectfully. If you've been steered according to the campaign commercials, you are nothing more than an amateur. A rookie. If a candidate engaged in name calling and charactor assination, how do you know where he stands on issues?

If you are registered, Vote!! Vote for the right candidate. Vote because you live in a free country and can. Vote for me.