Academic Leigh Speaking

A professor, four kids, and a crash course in work/life balance

The Election and My Thoughts on Voting November 24, 2012

Filed under: Events,Totally Me — leighj @ 2:00 pm
Tags: , ,

It’s late and everybody’s over it, of course, but there are a few things I wanted to remember.

  1. While I’m all for taking children to participate in democracy, I am not up for standing in line for a long time with small children. I have a friend who waited an hour and fifteen minutes with her three-year-old and three-month-old. There has to be a better way. I went and voted absentee in-person, which is perfectly legal, and I didn’t take my children. I’m glad I didn’t even though I have fond memories of going with my parents into the voting booth. Mostly, I’m glad because the voting machine was completely counter-intuitive and I’m glad I wasn’t worried about one of them bolting away from the booth while I was trying to figure it out. I might have made a mistake in my voting. As it was, I barely had enough time to read the amendments.
  2. I realized that I have lived in four different states for the last four elections. In 2000, I lived in Oregon and was interning at Senator Wyden’s office, so I got to go to a couple of Al Gore rallies. That’s when he was a little worried he might lose Oregon to Bush via Nader. It was a wild ride the last month of my internship when all projects were put on hold to answer phone calls about whether Wyden should or should not tell Gore to continue the recount in Florida. I’m sure Wyden had tons of sway–right… In 2004, I lived in Kentucky and was pretty convinced I was just voting for show; at least I got to go with my parents and vote with them again when I could actually use the machine for myself (see point 1 above). In 2008, I lived in New Mexico, and we were considered a swing state. NM has early voting, and I think I voted within the first few days it was open. I think Patrick and I went together, but I voted a lot in New Mexico (seemed like there was always an election, and the people I was friends with there had people they cared about in the races). On election night, we went out for free ice cream from Ben & Jerry’s and free coffee from Starbucks. By the time we got home, it was pretty much over. Ahh, I love living in the West during elections. And now, 2012, I live in Virginia, a true swing state. In my precinct, there was 87% voter turnout. We led the state. I think, with any luck, we’ll still be living in Virginia in 2016, so I might take the boys next time to vote.
  3. I now have a voter ID card. However, because my address is the one on my driver’s license, I don’t have to take it with me.
  4. It is very painful to live on the East Coast and watch returns come in. We should make Puerto Rico a state so that at least one poll will close before us.
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