It has been 20 years now that I am old enough to vote. I remember my first election in 1988 - George H. W. Bush versus Michael Dukakis. I was sooooo excited to be old enough to vote. I was away at college so had to do it by Absentee ballot and I carefully considered my choices, cast my vote and sent that big envelope back to the state of NY for processing.
Back then my college had a mock election every 4 years that went along with the presidential election years. They called it CedarWHAT? and it was hilarious at least to my 18 year old mind. We had rally's campaign signs, speeches, all culimnating with a huge election night party and annoucning of the winners. When I arrived for my freshman year we noticed how odd it seemed that every flower bed was filled with ornamental cabbage and how it kind of smelled bad. Later I found out one of the parties was running on the "kill the cabbage" platform and it started to make sense. And I never saw cabbages again after election night (thank goodness, they really did smell).
Also that year I went on a bus trip to a rally where Dan Quayle spoke in Chilicothe, OH - it was so exciting.
The funny thing is - 20 years later I still feel excited - a thrill when I go into that booth and start pulling levers. I guess I still believe that my vote means something. That voting is my right, my responsibility, my duty and it is a way to be heard.
I'll be casting my vote later this evening. Polls are open until 9pm in NY and I'll probably get there around 7.
I don't look much like that 18 year old girl anymore - but I'm still just as excited as she was to have the ability to VOTE!If you are registered - please get out there today and let your voice be heard!