Monday, November 4, 2013
Early and Often
So tomorrow is Election Day here in the Old Dominion, and even though it's an off-off-year round, I'm inordinately excited at the prospect.
You see, I haven't actually voted, in person, since the second Clinton administration, and absentee-ing it in, while a civic duty, just isn't the same. I'm interested to see what's changed. When I used to vote up on the far Upper West Side of Manhattan, it was a ritual, a solemn, predictable round of being scrutinized by the elderly volunteers, waiting in the civil, silent, early morning line, and then the satisfying mechanical swoosh as the voting-booth curtains closed behind you.
Since then, while I've watched other people vote, all I've done is fill out a form and hope the mail works. I was an election observer at a major transitional poll in West Africa, watched a vote go sadly wrong in Ethiopia, and had the oddly artificial experience of seeing the Sandlandians go through their largely ceremonial elections for their entirely powerless parliament-equivalent. Pretty much, in short, from the highs to the lows of the whole crazy democratic experiment that seems to be the way the world is going, more or less and in fits and starts, no matter what a retrograde old monarchist like me thinks about it.
So tomorrow morning I'll get up even earlier than usual and confuse the dogs by running out after they've had a hurried constitutional. I'm hoping to get to the elementary school where I'm told we vote before the go-to-workers get there, which will leave me enough time to get home and ready for the day - blessings on a short commute.
Voting, of course, is something I was raised to have strong views about. I'm glad to have the chance to do it, as it were, first hand, once again.