Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election day, hour 18

This is better suited for a personal blog, not a community one, but I would like to share. I voted for the first time in my life today. Went in before work this morning, stubbed my cigarette out on my shoe, walked into the building (how many years has it been since I've walked inside a high school?!), signed next to my name, went into a booth, pressed some buttons, pressed another big one "submit" and walked out of there. All this while holding my coffee. Completely and utterly anti-climactic. I don't know why, but I was expecting more: a rush, a feeling of usefulness or sudden privy to something wonderfully intimate and restricted. Nope... The sun shone, too hot for early November, Jersey City smelled as usual, I was really late to work, as usual, the mechanics in the nearby garage were lifting a sedan up (usual to them, I guess). Voting just did not feel important or special. No citizen pride or satisfaction of a civic duty well-fulfilled.

Do you remember your first time? How was it?


  1. The first time I voted, the attraction was a US Senate race between a 74 year-old Democratic incumbent and a 47 year-old challenger. I voted for the Challenger, a Republican, because although the incumbent was in some ways a liberal legend --his name was Paul Douglas-- I felt he was too old to continue to be effective; and anyway, the Republican was also a liberal (shows you how long ago it was; in those days, we didn't have voting machines or booths, we just scratched our mark on one of two stones, each of which bore the rune of one of the candidates. The mark had to be in blood, and multiple voting by one person was avoided by examining the forearm for the tell-tale cut. At the end of the day, the candidate whose stone had the most bloody marks ... never mind).

    The thing that clinched my decision was the younger man's response to a newsman who asked him whether he thought age should be an issue in the campaign. He said, "No, I'm 47, and I feel fine."

    I had the pleasure of meeting the challenger, Senator Charles Percy, many years later, and of repeating the anecdote to him. He had forgotten it, and it gave him a good deal of pleasure to hear it.

  2. I'm being "that crazy laughing person" in my apartment complex right now. My D&D roots loves the "rune" business.


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