Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Election Day by Marion Ekholm


YOUR VOTE COUNTS

 

Today is Election Day in America. Who will our next president be? Clinton or Trump? Whoever your choice may be, it’s important that you get out and vote!

Growing up, I remember Election Day as pure contention in my family. Mom was certain Dad cancelled her vote because they argued all the time about who was the better candidate. She was a Republican; he was a Democrat.

One election day my mother and our neighbor decided they didn’t want to vote for a particular candidate, an elected official in our small town. How could they go about eliminating his name from the ballot? They discussed it while they walked to the fire house set up with the voting machines. The candidate they didn’t want to reelect was there, working as one of the helpers.

Mom and the neighbor each took a voting booth, closed their curtains, and tried to figure out what to do. Still confused, they continued to discuss it through the curtains. A definite no-no. Someone outside their booths asked, “Do you ladies need help?” They recognized the man’s voice. Both said no and pulled the lever without making any changes. They walked home annoyed that they had both given that candidate their vote. 


My first opportunity to vote came when Kennedy and Nixon were campaigning for the Presidency. I listened to every debate and devoted all my energy to picking the right candidate. The election (which is always on the second Tuesday of November) was on November 8th. Because my 21st birthday was on the 6th (back in the days when you had to be 21 not 18), I had to attend a special voter’s registration the day before the election, and that meant missing several days of college classes. Only one teacher gave me any flack, and I informed him (quite forcefully) it was a Federal offence to prevent me in any way from voting.   


This year is identical to 1960. The second Tuesday is again on the 8th. And there the similarities pretty much end.

Do you have any voting stories you’d like to share?

16 comments:

  1. I hate to admit it, but I think I missed my first chance to vote. In those days, if you moved from one precinct to another after a certain point in the year, you couldn't transfer your registration. Although it makes me furious that "they" are now making voting so difficult by reducing the number of poll locations, at least in Indiana you don't lose your opportunity to vote because you move to a different township.

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    1. During a three year period when I moved seven times, I never had the opportunity to vote.

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  2. I remember the first time I voted. I turned 18 in October and voted in November. I was raised with a die hard Democrate family that voted only the ticket. It didn't matter who the candidate was or what their platform was. They voted party all the way. So I dutifully went to the polls and voted the way my family told me too. Now days I'm a little more informed about who I vote for. I spend a lot of time researching candidates, their platforms and their records. Sadly, I don't think enough people educate themselves enough on issues before voting.

    Liz, we recently moved and my husband didn't report his change of address in time, so now he has to travel to our old polling place to vote in person because his early mail-in ballot went to our old address. This is the first time he's voted in person in 30 years. He's used early mail-in ballots since he was in the military, so he's sharing your sentiment today. :)

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    1. I use mail-in ballots exclusively and makeup my mind early so I don't have to listen to any of the politics.

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  3. In Oregon, you vote by mail - wonderful for people who can't get around easily. When Ron and I were first married in L.A., the devoted ladies who manned the polls used to laugh at us because Democrats went in one room, and Republicans in another, and we had to split up. Not true anymore. I don't think either one of us caved, the political climate has just changed so much. My first vote was for Bobby Kennedy.

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    1. Things certainly have changed, but I don't remember Democrats going to one room and Republicans to another to vote! But then again those of us who lived on the east coast always considered California odd.

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    2. Hi, Marion. Have been thinking about that. Maybe it was a primary? Or, maybe California is just odd. But a great place in many ways.

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  4. Hi, Marion! Like you, I took my first opportunity to vote very seriously. (My friends thought I was a bit of a nut about it.) Having grown up in a household where politics was discussed almost nightly around the dinner table, turned me into a bit of a political junkie. I'm still just as eager to cast me vote now as I was then. Yes, even this year(: We have some state initiatives I feel strongly about.

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    1. Politics is one subject I avoid, even if I agree with the people discussing it. I get too tense, especially this time around.

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  5. I can remember the first time I ever voted (Jesse Jackson). I couldn't wait and every election day since, I feel the same way. I've only ever missed one election since 1988 (it was a non-presidential year); it's something I take as my responsibility as a citizen. I grew up listening to stories of women who fought for this right, women who never were able to see the result of their efforts. They come to the polls (or sit with me when I fill out my mail-in ballot) every time. Thank you for posting this, Marion. :) Happy election day!

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    1. My friend wrote a book about those wonderful women who worked so hard to get us the right to vote. My casting my vote is a way to thank them.

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  6. I voted by mail a week ago. Whatever the outcome today, I'll be happy for the rest from barrage of ads. The ratio of vote for me because _____ vs. vote against him/her because ____ seems to be getting worse with every election cycle.

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  7. I remember casting my very first vote for Ronald Reagan. I didn't know then he'd be the last of his kind. Praying for our country.

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  8. I've spent a lot of time this year convincing all of my grandchildren to vote. The last two were eligible this year. I think all but one of five followed through. Yay. I don't understand people who don't recognize what a privilege it is.

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  9. Since I live in Philadelphia, I always get a little sentimental when I walk through the historical district knowing that the idea for our democracy started here.

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  10. I voted last week and even then had to stand in line. I'm just hoping everyone realizes how important it is to vote!

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