Tomorrow is primary election day in our state. This year I signed up to be an election judge. Strangely I am looking forward to doing so. There aren't stringent requirements to be an election judge, just be a warm body who can stay at the polling place for the required fifteen hours. There was a mandatory three hour training.
I was impressed by it. It is not easy explaining processes to people, especially when you have all types of individuals, different educational, income, backgrounds in the same role. Crossroads of humanity my husband says whenever I have to experience anything with the legal system (e.g. jury-duty and explaining a speeding ticket come to mind)
The thing that was most impressive are the lengths to which the government goes to ensure that each election is fair and that there are no shenanigans. There are the checks and re-checks for the voters. If a voter over votes or mis-marks a ballet, there is a process and tracking system to eliminate the ballet and ensure that it is not counted. Every machine has tamper proof tape and is calibrated, counted before and after the polling time.
A lot of time, money and effort goes into our right to determine our governance. It underscores what a privilege it is to vote. I find that it is difficult to vote this year. I am not at all impressed with any of the candidates. I think my philosophy is like many I have heard- who will do the least amount of damage to our country in the next four years; the lesser of many evils.
Yet I have voted (election judges are strongly encouraged to vote early) and feel that it is a privilege to do so. When you think about our country and all our differences of opinions, beliefs, and creeds it is astounding that we can accomplish anything. I think it is much like a large family; we may have our differences but in the end our commonality binds us together. Our country has its faults and it may be very unwieldy in its decisions and processes, yet I am proud to be an American.
What about you? Are you planning on voting? Are you interested in politics? Have you ever been involved in a local or civil entity (e.g. neighborhood association, Parent Teacher Association (PTA)? How was the experience? If you are discouraged by our nation, have you thought of ways for its improvement? What would that look like? If you live in another country, how active are you in your country's politics?
"Every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle."
Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Adress, 1801