It’s hard enough getting up in the mornings now that the weather is cooling and the sun inches further and further away. But this morning I made sure I was up well before the sun, and out the door before the moon had set. Why you ask? Because I was on a mission to obtain an “I voted” sticker. And one hour later I can report that I was successful, and that it feels astoundingly GOOD, and EMPOWERING to have that flimsy little decal on my lapel.
And now that I’m here at work (and early too, thanks to the afore-mentioned early rising) I think I’m going to take my obligatory “I voted” selfie and then save that sticker somewhere. Which means I’ll switch over to something sturdier and more permanent like an “I voted” lapel pin. Because democracy, and exercising it, requires a badge of honor. In an age of internet memes, Instagram filters and snapchat selfies, sometimes drier subjects like politics can get lost in the shuffle. But maybe by wearing an “I voted” lapel pin I can perhaps remind or inspire even one person to vote who wasn’t sure if they would otherwise.
I have my opinions of course, or I wouldn’t have been inspired to vote in the first place. And of course I won’t share them here. Because today of all days, the most important thing I can express is the sheer importance of voting. Because the truth is that in every election, whether it’s presidential or local, casting your vote is vitally important. It shapes the world we all live in. And to contribute to shaping it is a privilege that not everyone has. It should not be squandered, no matter what color, gender, religion or other distinction you ascribe to. YOU matter, and your opinion does, too.
Even if the line is long after work, take the time. It’s kind of exciting actually, being in a crowd of people all there for the same purpose. Seeing your community turn out to do their civic duty is really amazing actually. I can attest to that. And what I can also attest to is the change in people as they stand in line waiting to vote versus how they look upon exiting the polls. Every person immediately adheres their “I voted” sticker on with the same look of pride and satisfaction, regardless of who they are. It’s a feeling you have to vote to feel. It’s worth it. GO VOTE.