All across the country, cities are reporting a record number of early voters and predicting long lines at the polls Tuesday. The local radio stations are already saying be prepared for heavy traffic near polling places, and the city school system has closed schools that day to avoid traffic and parking problems at schools that double as polling places.
So I just wonder, if I show up at my polling place Tuesday morning at 7 a.m., as I plan to do, and a sign at the end of the line says “2 hours from this point,” would I stay? It’s easy for me to say in the highly-conservative and mostly Republican area where I live that my one vote certainly wouldn’t lose it for the entire state. But what if everyone felt that way and we all decided 2 hours (or more) was too long? The phrase “Every Vote Counts” is true, even in a place where you’re pretty sure how the vote will turn out.
But even more important than my vote being counted is what voting means to me. My vote is not just another checkmark to be counted. It is not just a means to an end. To me, it is an expression of something that is important to me, important enough that I would take the time and the courage to say “I think this person should lead our country.” It’s a vote of confidence for that individual. I do not vote to make a point. I vote for the people I can truly support as President or Vice President. Does that mean I’ll wait 2? 3? 4 hours, to vote? I don’t know. There also comes a point where I have to be a responsible steward of my time, and I don’t know right now where that line is.
High voter turnout is a good problem to have. One of my biggest pet peeves is people who don’t vote but love to complain about the decisions made by the people the rest of us voted in. If you don’t vote, you have no right to complain because you didn’t try to do anything about it.
So vote. See you in line!