“Do the unexpected. Take 20 minutes out of your day, do what young people all over the world are dying to do: vote.”

Earlier this morning, Fern and Gracie vied for the prime spot on the mat in the sun by the front door. Gracie beat out Miss Fern, but the wily cat found her own spot where the sun shined through the glass onto the floor. I don’t need a thermometer. I have the two of them letting me know the house is cold.

Caller ID saves me. The number of political calls is outrageous, but I don’t answer. The robo-callers tried to disguise themselves by phoning from everywhere: California, Connecticut, New Hampshire and Washington, state that is, but I’m not deceived by their duplicity. Most of the calls seem to tout Scott Brown for the senate. The calls don’t endear him to my heart.

I was excited when I could vote for the first time. I turned twenty-one in late summer before my senior year in college and immediately registered at the town hall as an independent, a designation I still have. I needed an absentee ballot to vote during my first election, the Nixon versus Humphrey one, as I was at school. When the ballot came in the mail, I didn’t ponder at all. I knew right away who would get that historic vote. It was Hubert Humphrey.

I love to vote and seldom miss even the smallest of elections. I vote in presidential years, off-years and in my town elections for the selectman, the school committee and the other offices small towns always seem to have. It amazes me when people proudly declare they never vote. I consider voting an obligation of citizenry. Most times local questions or state referendums are also on the ballot so not liking any candidates is only an excuse, not a reason, for staying away from the voting booth.

I vote at the police station where I can count on one thing every time I go to vote: someone will have set up a bake sale, usually for a school club or a sport at the local middle school. Not only do I exercise my franchise, but I also get cookies, usually peanut butter or chocolate chip, more good reasons to vote.

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21 Comments on ““Do the unexpected. Take 20 minutes out of your day, do what young people all over the world are dying to do: vote.””

  1. Kat,
    My first election was the infamous Dukakis in the tank election. I am also registered Independent and never miss an election. Even though I usually have to truck 45 minutes back to my home town from work to do it, and them back to work again. I get to work too early to do it on my way to work and too late on the way back. I am counting the days to election day. The calls are non-stop since NH is a “Battle Ground” state. Looking forward to tonight’s debate, though.

    • Erin,
      I’m laughing at the picture of Dukakis in that tank. It’s like a bad dream you can’t get out of your mind.

      Why don’t you request an absentee ballot? That way you’ll still vote but save yourself the aggravation of the long ride.

      I figured Romney’s having a house there put it more solidly in his camp.

  2. Bill S. Says:

    Your vote for HH was fortuitous: “While Kennedy is credited with the creation of the Peace Corps as president, the first initiative came from Senator Hubert H. Humphrey, Jr. (D-Minnesota), who introduced the first bill to create the Peace Corps in 1957β€”three years prior to the University of Michigan speech. In his autobiography The Education of a Public Man, Humphrey wrote,

    “There were three bills of particular emotional importance to me: the Peace Corps, a disarmament agency, and the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. The President, knowing how I felt, asked me to introduce legislation for all three. I introduced the first Peace Corps bill in 1957. It did not meet with much enthusiasm. Some traditional diplomats quaked at the thought of thousands of young Americans scattered across their world. Many senators, including liberal ones, thought it silly and an unworkable idea. Now, with a young president urging its passage, it became possible and we pushed it rapidly through the Senate. It is fashionable now to suggest that Peace Corps Volunteers gained as much or more, from their experience as the countries they worked. That may be true, but it ought not demean their work. They touched many lives and made them better.”[5]

    If I mistakenly pick up a call without checking the ID, and it’s a political call, I always say I will vote for their person. Lately they have been calling my cell phone–they will stop at nothing. We will have a brief respite after this election, then it will start all over again here in NH.

    • Bill,
      I didn’t know that about HHH. I did know the man was a perfect choice for President, but he just didn’t disconnect himself from LBJ’s politics early enough. I swear if the election was another month or so away he might have won.

      I always get a great deal of consolation from having voted against Nixon.

  3. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    The house phone is getting those calls, too. My phone is my cell phone. The house phone is left over from when my mother lived here and the Republicans called her all the time.
    My decisions have been made for this political season. It’s nice when that happens because then I don’t have to listen to all the blather. Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop me from hearing all the stupid.
    Lovely, sunny, breezy day. I went out to rake leaves in the back yard while the laundry was in process. Nearly got concussed by falling walnuts. I figured it would be wiser to put the rake away and wait for a calmer day.
    Enjoy your day!

    • Hi Caryn,
      I don’t even pick them up anymore. Letting them ring is less annoying than listening to the recorded calls.

      I too have already made my choices of candidates, but I till read the political news in the paper and I did watch some of the debates.

      Nice day here today too-finally no rain. I read a bit, folded and brought the laundry up from the cellar and changed the bed thus creating more laundry.

      Have a great evening!

  4. greg mpls Says:

    luckily i do not live in michelle bachmann’s district. it would be hard to be polite to the phone callers. we got enuf going on as it is….

  5. olof1 Says:

    Yes we all should vote since we are allowed to! To many wants to but are not allowed unless they vote for those already in power.

    We never have to register to vote, we get that right automatically as soon as we have become 18 years old. That is one part of Your system that I don’t understand at all!

    We vote for the state, region and community at the same day, every fourth year and that’s it. We don’t vote for anything else really. No bake sales ever close to where we can vote though πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    Cold today as it was yesterday and a fire is burning in my stove, I know this is just as it should be but I still wish for a warm winter πŸ™‚

    Have a great day!

    • Christer,
      If you can vote automatically, how do they keep track of where you vote and who can vote? Can you vote twice without being caught by going to different towns?

      At 18 we register in our towns and are then on the rolls to vote. 18 is also the age for voting. We have presidential elections and what are called mid-term elections. The presidential one is every four years and the other is every two. Not all the political positions are for four years, especially in the local towns where selectmen, who are the town government, run every couple of years.

      Cold this morning but warmer this afternoon.

  6. Birgit Says:

    I’m glad we are oldfashioned over here, no political calls at all πŸ™‚
    Slightly different system, we don’t have to register for voting, but we have to notify our hometown every change in address. At that occasion I made an application, that they are not allowed to give my address to political parties and so far it works, no political mails.
    I didn’t miss a vote yet, we vote on sundays. Emma Goldman once rightly said β€œIf voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal”, but not to vote means to risk democracy. Like Sweden we unfortunately don’t have that variety of community elections.
    I’m curious about the US election result, though I will never understand american election campaigns. Saw your last TV debate and wondered why Romney has won the debate, mainly because he looked more self-confident. Content and truth seems less important? Or all the happy family smiling campaigns, as our oldfashioned country has a female chancellor, a gay foreign minister and our married president lives with his girlfriend. State still works πŸ˜‰
    Ok, I shouldn’t write about your politics I don’t really understand, but I keep wondering with interest…

    • Birgit,
      I long for those days when the phone didn’t ring constantly with automated calls.

      I have to re-register if I move to a different town. I never declare a party unless I want to vote in a certain primary where the candidates will be chosen.

      Sunday is sacrosanct in many ways here so it would never be used for voting. We vote on a Tuesday.

      Supposedly Romney won the first debate because the President rambled and appeared disinterested. He gave no answer answers.

  7. flyboybob Says:

    The only advantage of living in Texas is that finding a Democrat is as hard as finding hen’s teeth in the grass. I keep a low profile. A Democrat hasn’t won a state wide election since Ann Richards lost the governor’s race to G.W. Shrub in 1994. Winning the Republican primary here is a foregone conclusion as to the result of the November 6th election so we don’t have any campaign ads on TV or get those automated calls. Neither Presidential campaigns will waste their money on political ads here. πŸ™‚ Texas will solidly go for Romney. I don’t need any polls to predict this outcome. πŸ™‚

    In my first presidential election I pulled the lever, literally they had mechanical voting machines, for Humphrey. Although my choice has rarely won I always cast my ballot. Too many people have given their lives around the world for the right to vote in a free and fair election and I honor their memories when I vote.

    Today was sunny with a high of 83 degrees. Great weather to be outside instead of cooped up in an office.

    • Bob,
      I live in the state which always votes for the democratic candidate for president. A republican can be elected to the governorship or even the senate, but never for president. Massachusetts will vote for Obama.

      I despaired as my candidates for president seldom won, but I kept voting and finally hit the jackpot, so to speak!

      I love your reason for always voting: honoring the memories of people who have given their lives in the fight to vote.

      • Bob Says:

        Since you live in the State where Romney actually held public office you are probably the only person on this forum who knows what it might be like to have him as President. Of course the two jobs are very different. Having lived in a state where our governor became President, GW Shrub, I can only say that the havoc that the President can cause is ten times worse than what he did as the governor. The governor of Texas has very limited powers thankfully because the writers of the Texas constitution wanted a weak executive. This has been fortunate especially considering the intelligence and statesmanship of our current one and his predecessor. πŸ™‚

  8. Bob,
    I was not and have never been a Romney fan. I did not vote for him when he ran for governor. I found him a bit waffling from issue to issue, and I don’t think he’s changed.

  9. Coleen Burnett Says:

    First President I voted for was Jimmy Carter. To step into the voting booth still seems special to me. There are so many out there who do not have the right to vote. We do not know how lucky we are.

    I have made my decisions for this election year. And I am a bit sad as I recently lost my job at the radio station and will not be doing election coverage as I had hoped. Oh well…

    It blows me away that so many people don’t seem to care about such an important part of life. I am reminded of my own grandmother, who died before I was born. T’was said she never missed a broadcast of “Meet the Press”. I think I carry a part of that in my gene pool – – wonder what she would have thought of C-Span?

    • Coleen,
      I also voted for Jimmy Carter and was thrilled that one of my candidates actually won.

      I’m sorry about your losing your job. I expect you were excited when you did election coverage-I know I’d be.

      As I said, I can’t believe people brag about never having voted when it is, to me, the obligation of a citizen. Often the complainers never voted for any candidate so they partly bear the blame.

      On some days, i suspect C-Span would have induced her to nap.

  10. You are most welcome, Coleen!!

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