Monday, September 08, 2008

Interesting Times

One cool thing a high school teacher gets to see is kids who are getting ready to vote for the first time. Every day, the discussion is interesting, deep, and well-researched. These students watched all the prime time coverage of both conventions. They are not only opinionated, they are well-informed. It is exciting to see people excited about an election.

I remember the first time I voted. It was the Democratic Primary in Maryland in 1988. I voted for Al Gore. I vote for Al Gore a lot, even when he is not on the ballot. (Not more than once in a single election, though. I wouldn't want you all thinking I am doing anything wrong. Unless you think that voting for Al Gore is wrong, and certainly that is your prerogative.) Back to 1988, my parents were both home from work sick that day. I drove them to the polls (in our white Plymouth Reliant K Car that you had to turn the AC off to have enough power to turn left, but that is another story) and made them vote. I voted absentee in my first general election, and not for Al Gore, because I was at school in another state.

So I realized that I have been voting for 20 years. I have never missed an election. I was 8 1/2 months pregnant when I voted in 2004. I got bumped to the front of the line because I am pretty sure the elderly gentleman working the polling place thought I was going to drop that baby right then and there. She arrived two weeks later to the day, and was 9lbs 3 oz, so I probably did look like I was ready to give birth. I was also pregnant when I voted in 2000, although not quite so far along. However, I did get bumped to the front of the line that time, too. Elderly gentlemen working polling places are very kind to pregnant women. I am happy to say that I will never vote pregnant again. In 2006, for the gubernatorial election, Sam was only a couple of weeks old. I had to take all of the children with me to vote. There was no line to speak of, so no getting bumped that time. I imagine that I will get to stand in line this time.


The Calico Cat said...

I'll be 8 months a long... I wonder if I will get bumped to the front? (Would the bump hubby too? We go together...)

What do the kids think about the Bristol situation & the abstinance education that got her into that situation?

sophie said...

Your story has me wondering if my MOTHER voted the year I was born, not on a Tuesday, but within days of an election day. I wonder if anyone showed her any special consideration in 1954?

My eighteenth birthday was the day AFTER the first election in which eighteen-year-olds were allowed to vote. Since I couldn't vote, I actively campaigned instead . . . and was very irritated with everyone I encountered who told me that they wouldn't be voting.

Anonymous said...

Any time I possibly could, I arranged to take my children with me when I voted, even if it meant standing in line. I took them in the booth and showed them how (and for whom!) to vote when their time came. I don't believe they've ever missed an election. I tried the same with DGD Ella the past couple of elections/primaries and she refuses to go into the booth with me. She's scared. Maybe she's right.

Debra said...

It's pretty quiet at the Democratic table here. I believe the nice old gentleman was asleep and I had to wake him up in order to vote in the primary! This is a very Republican community.