Have you voted yet?
If not, why not?
If you have, what was the scene like at your polling place? Or did you vote early or by mail this year?
I was thinking the other day about the first time I ever voted. It was in 1980 and I was living in California. I was 19 years-old. I pulled the lever that year for Ronald Reagan. You might think that was an easy decision, but at the time, I was faced with something of a personal dilemma.
Let me tell you the story.
During his campaign against President Carter that year, then-Governor Reagan stated he would end Social Security benefits for minors who were over 18 and going to college. Up until that point, if your parents were deceased (as mine were), Social Security would pay the benefit to the college student. As a poor undergrad, you can imagine how grateful I was to receive that monthly income. As it was, President Reagan kept his promise. After he was elected, the President phased out the benefit by 25% per year. By the time I graduated in 1984, the Social Security benefit was gone.
As I mentioned, I ultimately decided to vote for Governor Reagan. I did so because I believed in his vision of a stronger America, his pro-life advocacy and his moral character. He didn’t let me down!
In retrospect, the experience was a good lesson of self-sacrifice. I missed that monthly $1200 check, but I worked more jobs to pay for college and learned a lot along the way. In the end, I think I was stronger for having to deal with the struggle of managing with less and doing more.
Jean and I decided to cast our votes this year here in Colorado via a mail-in ballot. We have enjoyed taking the boys down to the polling place in the past, but with travel and school, we decided to play it safe. We weren’t alone. Nearly one million Coloradoans have done the same thing.
Every election is marked by its high and low points, but this year’s edition has really been a spirited affair. Here in Colorado, $32 million dollars have flowed into the U.S. Senate race from organizations outside of the state! If predictions and polls are to be believed, there will be a seismic shift in Washington, D.C., tonight. Our colleagues at Citizen Link will be covering the unfolding drama and broadcasting for three hours on a live Webcast. I’ll be joining them for a few minutes. Coverage will begin at 9 PM EDT. To watch, simply click here.
To all those who bemoan and lament the system, I will admit it may not be perfect, but it’s still the greatest political system in all the world. So I hope you’ll exercise your right to vote!