Did You Vote?

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The politician promising a zero-turn in every yard and a trimmer in every garage and tool closet—that’s the one I voted for….

Actually, I drove past my polling place at a municipal library here in Montgomery this morning and flipped out at the long line stretching out the door, through the parking lot and around the building and just drove on by—and this was five minutes before the polls opened! At work, looking at some of the news coverage online, where people were waiting hours and hours just to vote, I was tempted to take the election off. (I live in an older neighborhood and voting precinct near the core of town that’s been solidly Republican ever since LBJ shattered the Southern Democratic Coalition in the 1960s, so it’s tempting at times not to exercise the right to vote.) Yet then I think of soldiers and statesmen, civil rights activists and volunteers of all political stripes who’ve given their time, careers and lives to ensure this constitutional right extends to all citizens—not to mention the little old ladies and others who are waiting hours in all sorts of weather—and I got off my duff, took an early lunch and breezed into the library before 11 a.m. After the pre-work early voters and before the lunch crowd, the only line at the polling place was at the ballot insert machine, and I was third from the front.

I got my “I Voted” sticker, felt like a better American and thought briefly of heading to Starbucks for a free cup of coffee, but instead went home, whipped up a homemade burrito and was back at work soon after noon.

Like they say, if you don’t use your right to vote, you have no right to complain.