Civic Duty

The alarm jarred us awake at 5:45 A.M.  It was still dark and the house had not warmed up yet. We threw on clothes, grabbed our voter registration cards, and headed out the door. Once we were in the car, we remembered to finally use our voices and say good morning to each other. The polls opened at 6 A.M. and we were determined to do our civic duty first thing in the morning so my husband could get to work just about on time. Who else would be up as early as we? We got our answer when we pulled into the parking lot of the community church which was our voting place. The parking lot was packed, and the line snaked out the door and across the front of the building.

“Doesn’t look too bad,” I commented, as we got into line. The woman in front of us ruined my optimism when she told us that this was just the tip of the iceberg. Once we got in the door, they were herding us into the auditorium where another 150 were already gathered. I wouldn’t have minded so much if I had had a jelly doughnut and a cup of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee in my hand. Surprisingly, we were finished in fifty minutes, and we headed home to start our workday routine, only a half hour behind schedule.  It felt good to start the day by voting.

I know many people are not happy with our choices this election year. Though that is always the case with some people every four years, it seems particularly to be the case this year. I have even heard people say they aren’t going to vote because it doesn’t matter or it’s their way of protesting that they don’t like either candidate. But it does matter. Ask people in Syria if it matters. Ask the people in China if it matters. In fact, ask the people in many countries, even some of those who say they have “free” elections if being able to cast your vote matters. I think they would like to be in our position, even if they aren’t thrilled with either candidate.

The bottom line is that both men running for president are good men. They have done good things, have wonderful wives, and nice families. They both care very much about what happens to this country and are in this election more for us than for themselves. Who would take on the intense scrutiny into their private lives and the name-calling, the sleepless nights, the pay that is nowhere in line with their responsibilities, and the weight of the world on their shoulders unless they truly wanted to serve this country?

So we dragged our tired bodies out of bed in the dark and drove to the polls, sans our morning coffee, to do our civic duty. I hope you have done or will do yours.

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About Coming East

I am a writer, wife, mother, and grandmother who thinks you're never too old until you're dead. My inspiration is Grandma Moses who became a successful artist in her late 70's. If I don't do something pretty soon, though, I'll have to find someone older for inspiration.
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21 Responses to Civic Duty

  1. Robin says:

    Well said. I did my civic duty too. 🙂 My husband and I used to go early in the morning, but found it was crowded so we started going at lunch time. No line, no waiting. It was surprising.

  2. wonderful thoughts on election day. Although it is now in the past, I did vote early, in October. It is a right and a privilege and one we should cherish. Thanks for the words you wrote so wonderfully. DAF

  3. pattisj says:

    I moseyed in around 10:30…the line was long, but moved quickly…out in about 35 minutes. Linn asked if I was going to get up at 4:00 with him and be there at 6:00. Then we both laughed hysterically.

  4. Well said Susan, so glad to have your wise words back in my “in box.” I was not working today, so I waited until mid day. It was a quick and painless process at that point. I too have been proudly wearing my “I Voted Today” sticker all day. Proud to be an American. Proud to have the right to vote!

    • Coming East says:

      Nice that you had the day off, Carol, and could pick the time of day that would be most advantageous. I could have gone anytime, but I wanted to vote with Hubby. I heard the polls here were crowded all daylong, though. I love to hear that!

  5. Amy says:

    Early vote is a good thing, we voted a week ago…

  6. Dianna says:

    We were up at 5, at the precinct when it opened. By time we took our place in line, there were probably 100 or so folks ahead of us. We were in and out in 30 minutes. You’re right: we shouldn’t take our privilege to vote for granted, and I certainly would never boycott because of the selection of candidates!

  7. Shary Hover says:

    I feel very spoiled that we can vote by mail in California. I received my ballot in mid-October, completed it and sent it right back in. Of course, then the political ads became that much more annoying. I do hope we’ll know the results tonight, but I fear you’re right and we won’t know for a few days.

  8. dorannrule says:

    Great post Susan! I am wearing my “I Voted” sticker with pride – even at home. And I agree with you about how both candidates are honorable men. Our polling place here was fairly quiet at 10AM when I voted…. maybe 3 people ahead of me. But then we are truly in a rural part of the county with a meager population. It feels good to get in and out in minutes.

  9. judithhb says:

    Well said Susan. I have no time for those who don’t vote. Did you know that in Australia it is compulsory and hefty fines are handed out if you don’t vote.

    • Coming East says:

      I did not know that, Judith. Americans would be angry with that because they would say the government was being too intrusive. They would rather have the freedom to not vote and then complain about who gets elected.

  10. Amen to these wise words! I did it bright and early.

  11. Al says:

    So well said! We just got back ourselves.

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