I dropped off my ballot around 6:00PM last night at a Buddhist Temple in Long Beach. Thank to my friend at The Political Breakdown (great blog), who told me about this hidden gem of a polling place. The whole process took me 4 minutes, in and out. I know some people in the heart of LA who spent more than 2 hours in lines.
Cheesy as it may sound, dropping off my ballot made me feel like I was part of a bigger collective that understands the importance of voting and making their voices count.
This election has been the talk of the past several weeks and months. I badgered most everyone I talk to about voting. One coworker got slightly defensive when I asked him. “No, I don’t vote. But the thing about me is I don’t complain about what’s going on in the government and suck it up.” Fair enough. But it was interesting that he was most worried about being judged for being a non-voter…but not the aspect of voting itself.
This misses the point – voting is a privilege and a luxury enjoyed by citizens of a developed nation. The fact that we can pick a leader for our country without the threat of violence, heavy corruption and anarchy means that we can still be adults at the end of the day.
Many other nations don’t enjoy this luxury. Polls are rigged. You have the same leader for 3 decades. Your voice doesn’t count. And if you try to make it count, you have another thing comin’.
But in America, we can enjoy a peaceful transition. Here’s an excerpt from the beginning and end of Romney’s concession speech:
“Thank you. I have just called President Obama to congratulate him on his victory. His supporters and his campaign also deserve congratulations. I wish all of them well, but particularly the president, the first lady and their daughters…[end]
I so wish — I so wish that I had been able to fulfill your hopes to lead the country in a different direction, but the nation chose another leader. And so Ann and I join with you to earnestly pray for him and for this great nation. Thank you, and God bless America”
That, friends, is why I vote. The presidential election happens only every 4 years. Regardless of which political camp you side with, I hope you voted too.
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P.S. Search “who won” on Google.