November 2, 2004

First Vote: Reflection

Lots of firsts this year. Including voting.

I registered in high school, but for the past few years, I have, much to my dismay, not voted on the primaries or any other elections. My excuses have been school-oriented. "Amanda," I berate myself, "What a bunch of crap."

This election, above all others, I thought I would get in there--into the booth of terror--and move some levers around.

I arrived at the polling place in my town, the kindergarten through second-grade school, and entered the building, surprisingly with only two pieces of semi-literature in hand: two notebooks from the local candidates. One candidate rep. also gave me candy that looked like it had been sitting in the sun too long.

When I got into the building, I was expecting some kind of mad rush, but it turned out surprisingly placid and quiet--homey almost. The ladies running the polls were dressed in their collared shirts and scotch-guard slacks, looking like they were ready for someone to serve tea.

The lady attending the books asked my name, and promptly started to search for it. "I can't find it. I see your mom and your dad, but not you. Amanda, right?"

I think she was one of my neighbors, but I don't remember her name.

I REALLY wanted to vote today, so I helped her look through the books, and I spied my high school loopy signature and finally was given permission to enter the booth.

I am afraid of that thing. My mom used to work the polls when I was younger and I never understood why people went into the noisy little booth and left with such solemn looks on their faces--contemplative.

I figured it out. So many little levers. After a gray-haired little lady taught me the procedures, I pulled the big huge lever to close the doors and got straight to work.

Then I pulled the big lever and was finished. So easy that I thought I did it wrong. I kind of wanted to stay in there a while and look at the mechanisms of the booth a little bit more, but alas, I had made my decision and the 70's- inspired curtains thrust outward. My vote was in.

That's it. I stepped out of the booth and moved on with my life. I hope America can do the same thing, no matter who comes out the victor.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at November 2, 2004 2:55 PM

Who did you vote for?? Inquiring minds want to know!

Posted by: curious at November 2, 2004 6:05 PM

Can't tell. I am a college journalist (soon to be professional journalist), and biases, even in blogs, is detrimental to one's objectivity. Besides, if anyone should be asking questions it should be me. Who are you? And why is it important that you know who I voted for?

If you are the same "Curious" that posted on Paul Crossman's blog, I do not want to give you fuel either way. I apologize that I cannot indulge the inquiring mind that is "Curious"--whoever you are; I know how annoying it can be ignorant of answers.

In fact, if I did tell you who I voted for, the revelation would ruin the impact of this blog, and I will not allow myself to lose credibility or force in my writing.

Posted by: Amanda at November 2, 2004 8:09 PM

Congrats! I think this is a big accomplishment for anyone to vote for the first time. You should be proud of yourself. My son voted today for the first time too. Big pats on the back to all first time voters!

Posted by: Paige at November 2, 2004 9:08 PM

I'm not registered...I'm a bad girl, let alone a horrid American. :-P

Posted by: Renee at November 2, 2004 10:10 PM

Thanks Paige. I felt like I was doing something good. I mean, something that not everyone can do--I don't know how some of those old ladies pulled that lever back on their own. :-)

Posted by: Amanda at November 2, 2004 10:46 PM

So glad that yesterday went well. And I know for whom Amanda voted... But I'll never tell. Her secret is safe with me. That's what best friends are for :)

Posted by: Karissa at November 3, 2004 7:32 PM
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