Happy U.S. Election Day

Fill in the oval to voteFinally, the day has arrived. It feels a little surreal–because we mailed in our ballots last week (what? the election’s still going on? Oh, yeah…).

Washington is now a mail-in ballot only state. I admit I miss going to the polls–especially early in the morning–and voting with my neighbors. I’ll never forget the sunny election day morning in 1992 and the exuberance that filled the voting room and the hallways of the elementary school. That place was charged!

This year feels charged in a different way. I try to remind myself that as passionately as I believe there’s only one good choice for President, people for the other side feel exactly the same way about their candidate. It helps me to have empathy–but we’re still polarized.

My mom fears all the voter intimidation she’s heard about–although she’s dropped off her ballot. What country are we living in? When did democracy take a back seat to winning?

I think/fear it’s going to take a few weeks before we have the final results. Already lawyers are going to court. And we have several tight races in our state (Approve 74!). Jittery weeks.

As flawed as the system might be, I’m thankful that we get to vote. And we vote because it isn’t just our right, it’s our responsibility (the nicer way of saying “put up or shut up”).

Happy voting day. And if you have any election poems online, please add a link in the comments.