Spitting into the wind.
Well, I voted today, for the first time since the 1992 Presidential elections. I guess you could say I’ve been disillusioned with the whole political process, so I’ve been avoiding it completely for years. But now, I have a one-year-old, and it would be an understatement to say that she’s changed the way I look at things. I didn’t feel like I could continue to be apathetic about the government, since many of the laws being passed may one day effect her world.
So I made up my mind that I would vote this year. Once that decision to vote was made, choosing a candidate was easy. I read as many different sources as I could find, but they all seemed to point me back to one candidate. Sure, Bush and Kerry both seem to be career politicians (in other words, notorious flip-floppers, double-talkers and truth-benders), so choosing one over the other can sometimes seem like the lesser of two evils. But once I looked at the issues, one candidate’s political platform was clearly more in line with my own beliefs from top to bottom.
I knew who I was voting for, but I was dreading the actual voting process. I had heard news reports stating that we should expect three- to five-hour waits, and I’m not always the most patient person. Also, we’ve been very busy at work, and we didn’t “officially” get any time off for election day. I meant to vote this morning, before work, but my wife needed help with the baby and time sort of got away from me. Instead, I left work at 5pm to cast my vote, fearing that my whole evening was lost. I arrived at the Fellowship Baptist Church in Smyrna at about 5:15 and jumped into a line that was about thirty people long.
No more than fifteen minutes later, I was walking out of the building with my “I’m a Georgia Voter!” sticker on. Can you believe that? I thought I was going to have to wait hours, but I didn’t even have time to finish the lollipop I was sucking on. It was faster than when I’d voted in 1992, and that was on a college campus with three times the pollsters.
I was impressed with the speed and simplicity of voting in Cobb County. I couldn’t believe how easy it was. In fact, the only negative part of the whole experience was the fact that my votes didn’t count. See, I’m a Democrat. And I voted AGAINST the constitutional amendment to recognize marriage solely as a union of one man and one woman. I knew when I went in that this state was a Republican bastion, so I knew my Presidential vote was made more out of a sense of duty than to help my candidate. But I naively thought the amendment vote would be a closer race. I thought my vote would be a bit more important there. So far, it hasn’t been. That amendment will pass with something like an 80% YES vote.
So I have very mixed feelings about voting in Georgia. Although casting my vote was a painless process, it’s sort of depressing to knowing that the majority of the state thinks differently than I do. It doesn’t exactly make me excited about raising my daughter in this area. And despite the pride I felt in voting the way I did, it kind of felt like I was just spitting into the wind…