October 22, 2020

Melissa’s bestie and hubby took the time to vote early yesterday.  They live in a diverse neighborhood and wanted to make sure their vote was counted during the election.  While she waited for him to finish, the poll workers all started cheering and clapping.  When she asked why, one said a 72-year-old woman had just voted for the first time in her life.  As amazing as that sounds, the worker went on to say she was the fifteenth person that day in this one precinct who was registered as a first-time voter.  Perhaps this is an indication that people are beginning to think voting is as much of a privilege as it is a right.

I turned eighteen during my senior year of High School and coincidentally that was also the year they lowered the voting age from 21 to 18 years of age.  The Twenty-Sixth Amendment provides, “The right of citizens of the United States, who are 18 years of age or older, to vote, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state on account of age.”  The Twenty-Sixth Amendment is the last in a series of amendments enacted over more than a century expanding constitutional protection for voting rights. Like many other amendments, it was enacted as a direct repudiation of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling.  While the Courts rule on Law, it is Congress who makes and can overturn previous interpretations.  That is why we have separate branches of government.

Melissa and I decided it was time to early vote.  The polling places in our area opened last Monday and will continue to be open until November 2nd.  I thought better than to go down on Monday as there might be a crowd and we would have to wait.  Melissa has been hearing from other voters and they all said they just went straight in with no line.  While I wanted to go in the morning, Melissa needed to wait until after her working hours.  That gave me time to do other work and to reread on the candidates and measures being considered.  When she logged out, we got ready and jumped in the car.  After entering my vote into the ballot counter, it posted I was the 2253 vote cast.  Although our district includes more than our town, the town only has 9300 people total.  That is an early turnout!

𝗧𝗛𝗢𝗨𝗚𝗛𝗧𝗦:  I was excited to be able to vote in my first election.  I was in my “political” phase and was actively campaigning for candidates and believed the outcome would change the direction of our country.  I was correct and it did, just not in the way I hoped or anticipated.  My candidate lost.  I can proudly say I have voted in every general election since my first one 53 years ago (my mom has voted in 70 straight elections).  Some of my candidates won and some lost, but every vote was important.  There are three ways to vote in most areas (check your local election website to see how to vote).  You can vote absentee, vote early, or vote on the November 3rd Election Day.  Your vote is important.  Change is coming and it starts with you.

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