Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Why I Like Election Day

I don't like Election Day for the reasons you might expect. Actually, the reason I like it so much is that, more than any other day, it makes me feel close to my great-grandmother, who passed away in 2004 at the age of 103 (and she was about a month shy of 104!).

The 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote passed in August of 1920, when my great-grandmother was 18 years old. She never talked about this momentous occassion, but she always voted. Even when she was in her hundreds, was almost completely blind, and could barely walk, she voted.

The way she talked about voting, it was not a choice, or something you got around to doing if the weather was nice, you felt well, and it fit into your schedule. You voted because it was essential--like eating and breathing. When it was time to breathe, you breathed. When it was time to eat, you ate. And when it was time to vote, you voted.

I clearly remember going to the polls with my mother when I was little, and sometimes I went with my grandmother and great-grandmother, too. Not once did any of my family members complain about the lines, or the cold, or the time they were taking out of their day. On Election Day, that's what you did.

And when I was old enough to vote, I voted. Automatically. Like breathing.

I do it for the women who came before who had no voice. And I do it for Mama, who showed me how to use mine.


  1. a great tribute. and yes, i feel the same way about my civic duty. i vote because it is my right and responsibility to know the candidates and choose who i'd rather represent me in governance.

    i do it because our forefathers and mothers fought for that right and because so many around the world, still do not have the right.

    i vote because it makes me happy that i can.

  2. You're right. We take so much for granted nowadays. There was a time when things were far from as easy as they are today.

    A great tribute.

    Thanks for sharing.

    (who has been following you for some months now and thoroughly enjoying reading your writing)


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