Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Voting in Wisconsin

Today was a historic day in Wisconsin's history.  The 3rd recall of a governor.  As I type this, the results are still coming in but currently Walker is in the lead.  However, as I would like to point out to the people cheering Walker's win, only 26% of the vote count is in, the remaining 74% may tell a different story (so shut up already!)

Politics aside, I'd like to share the story of my voting experience.  After school I went to the city building to vote.  As I pulled into the normally rather empty parking lot, I realized I would be hunting for a spot for a while.  There were dozens of people streaming in and out of the building all going to do their civic duty and right.  I noticed several former students in line or actively voting and I passed the time waiting in line guessing which way they would vote.  "Oh, J would definitely be voting for Walker, M for Barrett, D, hmm, not certain."  My next door neighbors were in the line right in front of me with their granddaughter.  I noticed former students there with their grandparents, parents with small children, and people like me, just going to vote after working. 

While I stood there waiting,  I realized I was tearing up.  Now, please realize, I cry frequently.  Matt teases me because I cry at Hallmark commercials. But this was different.  I was crying because I'm proud.  I'm proud that even though Wisconsin is divided right now and even though I'm afraid to tell people I'm a teacher, we live in a country and state where we have the right to make our voice heard. AND we take advantage of this right. 

When I vote I always think of the women who struggled to ensure that I have this right as well as the men and women who have fought and continue to fight to protect our nation and ensure my right.  Voting, to me, is not a civic "duty." "Duty implies something that you have to do but is not enjoyable like paying taxes.  Voting should be considered a civic privilege. It is a privilege that we all have, some take advantage of, and others would give anything to have.  We take our privilege for granted but complain when we don't like something.  Folks, there is something that you can do: VOTE!!! Especially in state and local elections, your voice matters.  Don't agree with the direction of your state? Vote!  Agree with how the city is handling local taxes? Vote!  People have died and continue to die to give you this right; don't let their deaths be in vain!

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