I did my duty as a citizen. I stopped off on the way home and voted in the Florida primary today.
The driveway to the polling place was lined with signs, people waving signs, and candidates handing out literature. When I parked, one of the candidates ran up to me with his flier and said, “I’d appreciate your vote.” The flier told me this particular candidate had been endorsed by Jeb Bush. I think I actually recoiled. He went on, “I’ve never been in politics before,” as if that was a selling point. I replied, “I wouldn’t go to a doctor who had never practiced on a patient,” and went in to vote.
The place was practically empty, and filling out the ballot — using a pen to fill in the little bubbles — was pretty easy. I did not vote in the races where I’d never heard of the candidates, and read with interest the ballot measures.
When I handed in my ballot to have it scanned, I saw that the counting machines had totaled 435 ballots since 7:00 a.m. It was now 5:17 p.m. so that’s a little more than 43 voters per hour. I asked the poll watcher, “Is that a lot?” He replied, “I don’t know.” “Has it been busy?” “For me.”
As I said this morning, this election doesn’t seem to be incredibly inspiring. But then, in some countries people have given up house, home, family, jobs, and even sacrificed fortune and risked their lives to do something that took me two blocks out of the way on the drive home and required as little effort as a trip to the store. It would have been just as easy to drive home; no big deal. But I did something that actually will count, and that’s more than all the blather from the talking heads, the demonstrations by the people in funny hats, and all the threats of Armageddon from a man who owes his job to people who did what I did today, and who can just as easily vote him out of office. And that’s why it is so important.