This is a bit late but I have been meaning to write about my voting experience. This was my first time to vote for president. The only other time I voted was in college for the mayor of Austin. That was only because I wanted to vote for Leslie, the transvesite homeless mayoral candidate. He was running on a platform of creating teepee communities for the homeless. Pretty original, huh?
My lack of voting stems from a general feeling of apathy and laziness when it comes to voting. I never feel very passionate about candidates or issues so I don't think my uninformed vote should count as much as the people's votes who are actually passionate. I know this logic is flawed but it is how I feel.
This year I knew I needed to vote. This was not because I had lost my apathetic attitude towards voting. I hadn't. It's not because I had strong feelings for either presidential candidate. I didn't. In fact, if a suitable third option was unveiled minutes before I voted, I probably would have chosen him. The sole reason I voted was to be an example to my students.I was in charge of our school-wide election and thought it would be quite hypocritical to not vote after strongly advocating that the kids do it.
I voted early at a polling place near my school. It was an interesting mix of people. I was really struck by the fact that everyone's vote counts the same. There were clearly people there who had a lot of money as well as people who clearly didn't. There were white people, black people and Hispanic people. No Asians, as they are not very prevalant in that area. That all being said, it was a very diverse crowd. I was relieved to see that the line wasn't too long. It was just long enough for me to make these insightful observations but not long enough to make me want to scream. The most amusing part of the whole thing was the way we stood in line.
When, I walked in the room I noticed a sort of waiting lane marked off in tape. It made a giant L. The natural human response upon seeing taped lanes on the floor is to stand in them. For some reason, one of the election workers kept making the people make their waiting line outside of the tape. It was really funny to watch people try to stand between the tape lines and then watch the older gentleman make them stand outside of them. No one could understand right away. They would look down at the lines and then at the man and then back at the lines and back at the man. It was super amusing, though I am not sure my account really gave it justice.
When it came to the actually voting. I am not going to say who I voted for to be our President. As I told my students, it's private. One asked me to just give him the first letter of his first name. Nice try! I decided to vote in every possible race despite my lack of information. My thought process during the voting process was decidedly random. My dad detests Sheila Jackson Lee so I made sure to vote against her. I voted for one guy because his name was similar to that of one of my students. I voted for another person because they sounded Indian and you don't see a lot of Indians in politics. I voted for someone named Sam Houston. I really didn't have a choice on that one. He just had the perfect name for Texas politics.
It felt more meaningful than I thought but I will probably have to fight that same apathy four years from now. Who knows? I may not even be in the country.
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