Have you voted yet?

Today’s the day!

Have you cast your ballot yet? Did you vote absentee? Or do you live where early voting is allowed?

My first presidental ballot was cast absentee as a twenty-one year old college student. My roommate voted also and we witnessed each others ballots. I think our votes cancelled each other.

The first time in my life when a presidental election fell on Nov 6 I was just becoming aware of politics. I remember asking my father after I came home from school if he’d voted. Yes, he did.

Who did you vote for? The loser, he replied. How do you know? The votes haven’t been counted yet. I could see this mountain of paper ballots that needed counting in my mind and the polls just now closing.

It was years later, during another election cycle when I began to understand about projections, polls, and landslide victory in 1956.

Twenty-eight years later I cast my ballot again. By this time our family – two sons added to the husband – had moved several times and changed economic status but not opinions. This was the fourth state I’d lived in and the third where I’d cast a presidential vote along with state and local officials. (Our stay in one state didn’t include a leap year.) My losing streak remained intact.

Today is twenty-eight years later. I’m in a different state now. The sons are grown and will cast ballots in their own juristictions. The husband is an ex and I suspect he will vote – veterans tend to. My plans for the day put a walk to the polling place as a diversion on my regular morning walk.

My reward? I think I’ll continue that morning walk to a restaurant that serves breakfast. Tonight will find me watching the results. Winner or loser – I’ve exercised my civic muscle.

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