Let me start off by stating this is not a political writing Per Se. With all of the Presidential Election coverage and the fact it is the first time my daughter gets to vote I am flooded with memories of the first presidential election I got to vote in.
It was 1983, I was so excited to get to vote for the first time. Voting is a very big deal in my family, from day one I was taught it was my responsibility to be well informed and take the time to educate myself on everything all candidates had to say. My parents took this very seriously.
Every year I remember my mom working at the polling station located at the local Catholic Church, my dad would drive people who were unable to drive themselves to the various polling places. They were passionate about the voting process.
Getting back to my first time, I remember everything about it. My polling place was located at the fire station, my voting outfit was this really great navy and white skirt and matching top with blue kitten heel shoes. I wore pearls, I felt the occasion called for pearls. I even remember the people around me, the woman in front of me was older (probably the age I am now) and she had brought a book to read while in line, the gentleman behind me was older, maybe in his 70’s. He and I struck up a conversation, he asked if it was my first time voting and I told him yes it was. He was so nice, he told me all about his first time voting and how proud it made him to see young people in line exercising their right to vote. He was a war veteran and felt a keen sense of pride in seeing all of the people enjoying their freedom to have their say in how the country is run.
Going into the voting booth for the first time, a heady experience indeed, the sights, the sounds, even the smells, just overwhelming. To this day, when I step into a voting booth it all comes rushing back.
This is my daughters first time to vote, I hope that she has just as positive an experience as I had. I am going to go with her and take a picture. I went with my son when it was his first time to vote, however I failed to capture that moment for posterity. I will not fail in my duty as a mother this time!
I know you all are wondering who I voted for that first time, well, it was Ronald Reagan. This is the one and only instance where I tell people who I voted for. I take the secrecy thing very seriously.
When President Reagan gave his exit speech I cried like a big fat baby. I called my mother, I don’t even know how she knew who was on the other end of the line! I think all she understood was president and exit speech. She told me she knew how I felt, she cried like that when Roosevelt left office, he was her first presidential election. And that is the only one that I know that she voted for!
When President Reagan died I cried again, this time I didn’t have my mother to console me. She had already left this earth.
I hope every one exercises their right to vote. I don’t care what political party you have chosen to be a part of, I don’t care who you vote for, just go vote!
And if it is your first time to vote, well, don’t let anyone rush you, just enjoy the moment! Take a camera!