Weekend Assignment #137: Recount the first time you voted in a local, state or national election. That's to say the first time your vote counted, not a play vote like Athena's. For this, primary voting counts, too. If you want to share who you voted for and whether they won, that's cool, but if you feel like you want to keep your political affiliation unstated, that's fine too.
Extra Credit: Are you voting next Tuesday?
I first voted in a national election, too. Except mine was twenty years before yours and the most memorable part of the process was being turned away from the polls and sent to the Town Clerk to pay my “poll tax” -- bet you didn't have to ever pay a “poll tax” as it was ruled unconstitutional the next year or so. That election, I voted in my home town which had voting machines. I managed to cancel out my father's votes for Richard Nixon ... or did he cancel my vote for Hubert Humphrey? I do recall that Gus Hall was the Communist Party candidate that year – it was the second or third time running for him...
The next election I participated in was an interim election and I was domiciled in Vermont in those days. It involved voting booths and paper ballots and number 2 pencils. Oh, and an all-day town meeting followed the next day! It was also the last time I voted for a Democrat for a national office, too.
I'm not sure if I am voting this time or not. The Republican Party has been hijacked by splinter groups, überconservative hawks, knee-jerk Christian Fundamentalists, “Right-To-Lifers,” and fat cats who can't see beyond their next tax cut to the worsening human condition of the elderly and the lower income and middle class workers of this country. This, my party, has become a bunch of pork barrel opportunists who willingly sell out the vast majority of the people of this country on health care, pharmaceuticals, bankruptcy, personal rights, responsibilities and freedoms in the name of “National Security,” “party solidarity” and “screwing the Democrats.” This, my party, has become anathema to me. Our elected representatives in Washington would rather toe the party line than either think for themselves or act in the interest of all Americans, not just the rich. This, my party, nominated and “elected” a ne'er-do-well drunk from Texas with an accent so thick and an understanding of proper English so poor that the vast majority of people in this country would rather watch a sit-com than cringe their way through a half hour speech by the man. Now, the party is so concerned about losing seats in Congress that they'd rather lynch that Liberal Devil, John Kerry, for a blown attempt at a joke at the President's expense than howl in outrage that Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, et. al. have taken their marching orders from the provisional Iraqi regime and ORDERED THE ABANDONMENT OF ONE OF OUR SOLDIERS IN IRAQ.
Have yourself a merry little party on election night. Give my best to the Mrs. and the ankle-biter.