November 06, 2004

My first(and probably only) (semi)election related post

In case anyone has noticed, throughout the entire pre-election period, including informal debates between friends, and the political rush which overtook the blogs, i did not say one damn thing about it. Well, ive decided its time to post my political entry. Not excessively political, or even entirely election related, but its time i voice my opinion.

As election day grew close, the campus began to flare up. People were running around registering students, the table outside the cafeteria was frequented daily with politic-related material, Mike kept broadcasting Republicans parties, a Republican club was started, and many unofficial debates were being had about the upcoming presidential election. I tried to keep quiet about all, i tried to get by slyly, but no, the question came up, more than once in fact. "Hey Lori, are you registered?" If you know me, you know that i am a very honest person, very vehement about NOT lying, i was forced to respond with the dreaded "No". My answer often received wide, extremely wide, open mouths, looks that could kill, and a "Lori Rupert, WHY NOT?" Occasionally an "Im mad at you" would pop up. I would then proceed to explain my reasoning, which is this: Initially, i had no interest in politics, not only did they bore me to death, but i didn't see what the big deal was, or why all these people were so into the election. I didn't care, so therefore i didn't want to register. I figured, why register when i didn't know anything about either party? I wasn't going to register and NOT vote, nor was i going to register and vote for the person everyone else wanted. So..i didn't register. However, the closer the election got, the more i regretted my decision(for all of you saying i told you so, believe me, im kicking myself now). I listened to my friends debate, even participated in a few discussions, read Mikes blogs, i even went so far as to go online and look at each canidates views. As the weeks went by, i became aware, and my awareness lead me to believe that if i had registered it was Kerry i would be voting for. Now, for the action part of my story. Come election day, my supervisor wasn't here, so i had no work, and at lunch my friends were discussing where they had to go to vote. Well, Athena was pretty angry because her absentee ballot still hadn't come through, and was curious as to what she could do. We decided we would ask SHU's very own Barbara Hinkle, registrar. Rumor had it, she was taking kids to the municipal building to vote. We headed to the registrars office, and talked it over with Barbara. She suggested a provisional ballot, and off we went to vote(i went along for the ride). We get there, and long story short, they told Athena she couldn't vote. They said to get a provisonal ballot, she would have to go home, and it wasn't their fault the absentee ballot didn't come through. Athena wasn't sure what to do. Once back at school she asked me, "Lori, should i drive home and vote?" I said, "If you want to, if it is that important to you. Ill come with you if you want." She debated, she had a class at two, i had one at three thirty, she said, "You will really come home with me for two days?" I told her that i just had to be back by eleven the next morning for class, because i had a test. I also had two other classes, but decided i could miss those, because i never had before. She said we wouldn't be back in time, and i gave her the option of leaving again that night, right after she voted. She was still contemplating, thinking we wouldn't make it in time, polls closed at eight. She went and talked to her teacher, handed in her work, i talked to mine handed in my work, and off we went. If you know me, you also know that i don't miss class. I don't just randomly skip class(minus computer class last year, it was boring and i wasn't learning anything, i already knew everything, and it was at 8am). I don't miss my classes, EVER. But, this time i did. Oh, thats right, i forgot the details. Where exactly was home? Driving home to vote..hmm..not a big deal right? For some, maybe, however Athena lives in Philly. Thats right, PHILIDELPHIA. Five and a half hours from here. Good thing the turnpike was pretty much empty (90 mph what?), we made it in four and half hours, a whole half an hour less than the quickest time Athena has ever made it there. We went to her house, walked to the firehall, walked in and she voted. That simple, no lines, no problems, we walked out at 7:06. We had been thinking we would be arriving at about five till eight, place would be packed etc, etc. Nope, we made it with an hour to spare. We hung around Philly about two hours, got ourselves some REAL (delicious..yummmm) Philly cheesesteaks, and visited Athenas mom. Then, we made the four and a half hour trip home. We got back around one thirty. Yes, folks, Tuesday, November 2, 2004, election day, i accompanied a friend to PHILLY so she could vote. I figured it was the least i could do, since i didn't vote. I realized something very important through all of this, i wanted Kerry to win, Kerry was fighting for pro-choice. I was supporting a person willing to give women their rights, however, i was, at the same time, denying myself one of the most important womens rights ever: voting. I had denied myself something others fought for, something most take for granted, including myself. I didn't take advantage of it, ironically enough, i was fighting for a right to be given at the same time. I am the walking version of why people should register, because now i regret it. Although Kerry didn't win, i didn't have a chance to voice my opinion, (and we all know how much i love to do that ;) For the next four years, i am forced to keep my mouth shut about politics, because i didn't vote. Prior to the election, i would have been happy to have not said anything about politics, now, i wish i could. Anyone out there who hasn't registered, anyone who knows someone, direct them here, read this, VOTE, especially if you are a woman, or hold your tongue for four more years. Its your choice, take advantage of it.

Posted by Lori Rupert at November 6, 2004 03:31 PM
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