The ballot is on the table, my three bubbles have been filled, and the walk to the lock box is short. Every year I am nervous about whether or not I have made the right choice, if I have done enough research, if I have enough of a grasp on what I want for not just my community, but the community all those around me want. Iím so nervous handing over my ballot I almost fold it in half and put it in my pocket, absentmindedly.
As I take the white oval ďI VotedĒ sticker that will hang on my bulletin board until it falls off, the poll worker announces ďKrystal Powell has voted.Ē Iím filled with pride. I have done what little I can to make a change on this day. While I am only one, and my vote will sit next to over a thousand, I know that I have contributed to the communityís future.
Itís pretty wild to think we will all be reliving this again in a few weeks in the Mayoral runoff. I hope I get another sticker. More importantly, I hope that every person reading this will take to the polls. It may not seem like much, that the decision has already been made, or that your voice isnít truly heard. The fear of being one ant amongst millions and that your opinion and your values are insignificant is how things end up not being achieved.
The runoff reminds me of an extra inning in baseball. We arenít all really paying super close attention to the game up until now, because we were so focused on getting our hotdog or foam finger. Now is the time to sit down and watch like your life depended on it, and ensure your uncle is there to help explain the rules you can never quite remember. This little round of overtime is so exciting and nerve racking,it can make us feel powerless.
Nevertheless, being able to speak and vote is how we accomplish what we want in our communities and in the lives of those around us. I implore you to research candidates, discuss the issues with people you trust, and perhaps even get in touch with the candidates themselves. Most importantly, go vote. This is your opportunity to help shape your community.
A couple notes when it comes to voting! Make sure that you study up on the two candidates and check their voting records and past actions to see who is more aligned with your vision of our community. Ensure you give yourself plenty of time because we will all be voting at the same building for this one. Lines could be long and could extend outside, so wear your game day gear (Go Tigers!). Donít forget to fill in the tiny little bubble all the way. Remember that this is your American Duty and your right. Above all, if you donít vote, you canít complain.
Every year at election time, I like to think of George Washington stepping down and handing the reins of power to his successor, John Adams, with grace. Itís important to remember Washington during these moments, so we can follow his example of grace and humility where change can occur, even if we donít agree with the outcome. Good luck to both candidates, and Iíll see you all at the polls.