Today your Facebook and Twitter feeds are likely full of posts from your friends telling you to vote. This morning when I turned on my computer I was bombarded with ads and posts telling me who to vote for and others saying it doesn’t matter who I vote for, as long as I vote. Admittedly, I shared the first post I saw, which depicted a big button that said “Vote.” I added my own little commentary saying, I hope my friends in D.C. and back home in Wisconsin vote today. I voted early last week, so in my mind I had done my civic duty. I smiled at my Facebook post thinking all my friends will see how civic-minded I am. Then reality hit.
It was easy for me to vote early last week. I had the luxury of taking a long lunch break and walking to the early polling place with two colleagues. As I walked in, I was a tad annoyed when I was told there would be about a five minute wait. There was no line, how could there be a wait, I thought. But it was no big deal, for me anyway. I’m paid salary, not hourly, and I have an understanding boss who encourages me to vote. I didn’t have to worry about missing work, not making money while I took the time to walk to the polling place and cast a ballot. My biggest worries were the sudden drop in temperature that made it a rather chilly day and the ridiculous five minute wait, which actually ended up being only about a three minute wait. Still, I rolled my eyes.
But I voted and my vote will be counted, there’s no question about that. Regardless of whether the people I voted for win, I know I wasn’t disenfranchised. I never even had to worry about that. That’s not the case for far too many people in this country.