Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Blogiversary on Election Day

Eight years ago, I started blogging here at Denton Sanatorium. What spurred my entry into the blogosphere? Obama/McCain.

To celebrate eight years here in my corner of cyberspace: Election 2016, the craziest election I've participated in yet.

I arrived at the polling place parking lot just after 5 am this morning, and by  5:45, the line snaked out of sight.

My third-place spot in line was upgraded when two gentlemen kindly gave up their places to the first two women in line. I sat in the folding chair I'd brought, grading papers and listening to the political chatter around me--which was surprisingly mellow, even though it was way before sunrise.

A friend saw me sitting in my camp chair, and as he walked by said, "What's more American than a U.S. History teacher grading papers in cowboy boots, waiting in line to vote on election day?" The line laughed, and so did I.

At 5:59 am, the doors opened, and we all meandered our way through the unfamiliar school's hallway to the library. The workers checked my ID, handed me a ballot, and I walked to the voting booth. I turned the ballot over to vote for the referendums first, and I discovered they'd given me two ballots--a mistake they quickly remedied.

After completing my ballot, I walked to the machine, where I was the very first one to vote in my precinct today.

While this election has been ugly and divisive and mean, I'm proud to cast a vote today. I'm proud to be American where voting is such a great privilege.

As the machine swallowed my ballot and the worker handed me my voting badge, I asked if I could take a picture of the ballot box to show my students today, since they are voting in class. He asked me how many students I had, and he spun the roll of stickers and handed me enough for my whole class to wear today, saying, "Voting is important. Teach those kids!"

And so, today, I will.

No matter your political persuasion, go vote today. Men and women throughout history have risked their lives for this privilege. Take advantage of it.

God Bless America, today and always.

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