I did not vote today.
I mailed my absentee ballot two weeks ago. With my long commute, I didn’t want to worry about getting to the polls before or after work. I wasn’t entitled to a nifty sticker, but I’ll survive.
I drove past four polling places on my way to work: a fire station, a church, a community center, a school. I felt a swell of pride and patriotism when I noticed that these places, usually deserted before 8:00 am, had parking lots teeming with vehicles and numerous people entering and exiting buildings to exercise their right to vote.
As annoying as it might seem to be inundated with postcards, Facebook statuses, bumper stickers, billboards, pre-recorded phone calls, yard signs, television spots, blog rants, newspaper endorsements, hand-painted signs and all other forms of political advertising and “discourse,” each of these items is a reminder to me that not only do citizens of the United States enjoy freedom of speech, we are entitled to vote.
Today I am thankful for both of these rights. I am thankful for the women who suffered for my suffrage. I’m thankful that my mom used to take me as a child along with her when she voted, modeling the importance of this civic duty. I’m thankful that I can cast a ballot with relative ease, even at my convenience, and without the threat of harm. I’m thankful that, if I wanted to, I could spend the rest of National Blog Posting Month writing about my political views without the fear of being jailed or worse.
Did you vote today?