04 November 2008
Election Day in Maine
Today my 21-year-old son voted in his first presidential election. I remember my first presidential election. I was living in the Washington, D.C. area and it was 1988. My dad took me to the polling place and we stood in line together. He joked with me before I walked into the polling booth, saying I needed to "vote the right way."
As I stood in that booth for the first time, I was struck by the power I had. I could vote any way I wanted. Or write someone in. Or leave some blank spaces. Or not vote at all. I could do anything and no one would ever know how I voted.
Today, I much preferred going to our little polling place in Maine rather than standing in those long lines in D.C. I know most of the local candidates personally and I enjoyed seeing them, shaking their hands, and talking to them about their kids, my kids, and where we're going on vacation.
One local candidate lives on the next street from me. Another goes to my church. Still another lives next door to a good friend of mine, and I can walk to her house on a trail through the woods. It is so much easier to vote for real people that I know, rather than just names on signs and faces on TV.
It is still too early to know how the big races will turn out... but either way, today we all came together as Americans and did our civic duty. Regardless of the outcome, my hope is that we will all come together, put away our differences, and support our leaders.
Copyright © 2008 - Paulla Estes