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I like to offer my opinion, but had to learn as I grew up that there are appropriate and inappropriate occasions for that. The most appropriate time and place ever is the voting booth on election day. I couldn’t wait to turn 18 and go express myself on a ballot.

In all of the intervening years (there have been a lot) I’ve only ever missed voting in one election. There was a single city bond issue at stake and I had a stomach virus. I still regret how the world was deprived of my input.

I have a plan tomorrow. It involves dragging a 20-year-old along. He was diligently researching and filling out his sample ballot yesterday. He’s a responsible, informed, caring person, and would vote even if I didn’t make him. But I want to do it as a mother-son activity, so I’m making him accompany me early, before I go to work.

What’s your plan for voting? Or have you cast your ballot already? If you don’t yet know where to show up or what to bring, check that here. Your voice matters. If you can at all, show up and vote.



We Voted

It’s Primary Day here in Missouri and I participated in one of my favorite parent-child activities. This morning, my 18-year-old accompanied me to the polls to vote in his first election. If my future is in the hands of young adults like him, I’m not overly worried.

I Voted

He not only researched every ballot issue and every candidate, but also the job duties for each office. What does the public administrator even do? Because he asked, I bothered to find out and now know that she (it’s been a she) handles the settling of estates left without a will and manages the affairs of people who are incapacitated with no family to help.

We should all be as conscientious with our votes. If having a toddler can help you appreciate anew the beauty of a daisy, having a new voter in the house can help you appreciate anew the beauty of democracy.

Voting for Shut-Ins

I helped my mom vote today. She’s probably the reason I’ve never skipped an election since I turned 18. I’m following her example. She always, always voted. I remember going into the booth with her when I was little, back when they had the machines with levers.

I don’t know how it works other places, but I discovered that in my county, they will send poll workers out with ballots to allow shut-ins to vote. Pretty nifty and civic. Still, she wanted me there to help her read and fill out the ballot. Possibly she didn’t trust the election ladies (?)

I admit I had to bite my tongue on a couple of her selections. But I managed not to try to influence her vote. With tremendous self-discipline, I only marked what she wanted me to without comment. As if she’d let me. She still reads the newspaper, and she’s allowed to vote differently from me if she wants to. I wasn’t there to tell her how to vote, only to help her exercise her right as a citizen.If nothing else, it’s extra motivation for me to get out to the polls next Tuesday, so I can cancel her out on those couple of ballot items. Since I also believe in a secret ballot, I won’t mention which things or people we disagree on. I’m happy to share my opinions, but not hers.

It made me very happy to know my local government is serious in helping people cast their votes.And the poll workers were as nice as could be.