The Vote, and my support of the electoral process

I voted on the way in to work today. The blessings of voting at 9 AM in a small, rural election district: no line, and friendly election workers who know who I am. I was number 75 in my district, and there are two districts in the town, so I would guess that about 150 people had voted so far in a town of about 1,800 residents total. I would have to ask Robert how many registered voters there are - he gets the lists every year.

My first presidential vote was for JFK, in a straw poll held in my elementary school. My first counted presidential vote was for George McGovern. I wear that history with pride.

I live in a town that splits its vote, and that is pretty close to even on the Democratic:Republican ratio, with an edge to the Republicans. Our strongest parties, however, are the parties of the native-born and of the redneck. The people who live in our town tend to work with their bodies - truck drivers and highway workers are many. There is little racial or ethnic diversity here, and I suspect that Obama will not take our town. One person who lives downtown is pretty progressive in his views, and he put out a yard sign for the Democrat who is running for state senate, but he put a McCain sign right next to it.

Robert is a politician. He was once Town Supervisor in our town, and that was a wild ride that deserves its own blog. He now leads an economic development project that involves a couple of dozen municipalities in a couple of counties. He became involved the year that Clinton ran for President, and brought me along with him. For the two of us, that was a great time of hope that reminds me of the fervor with which many young people are supporting Obama. May they stay involved in the process as we have.

This year Robert has spent time supporting a couple of specific state races, raising money and donating time for GOTV efforts. We both have sent off an uncounted number of $25 and $50 donations to a number of organizations and campaigns - Democracy for America, 21st Century Congress, state and national committees, our county committee, and several campaigns. We have been spreading the wealth around.

We had a realization a few weeks ago: our system of elective government is Robert's and my main cause. And I am feeling fired up. I want to start giving time as well as money. I am setting my sights on our election system, and want to work on making it possible for every one to vote without long lines, malfunctioning machines, purges, and everything else that makes voting harder than it should be in this nation. After I am done with grad school, I will look for a place to contribute my time and talents.


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