I have to admit I wasn't excited to vote yesterday. It had nothing to do with the candidates or the issues on the ballot; I just didn't want to go. But I knew I had a responsibility to go.
I went right after work, guessing at the roads that I needed to turn on to get to the elementary school hidden in a neighborhood near my home. I parked my car, walked toward the door with a "VOTE HERE" sign, carefully past the people that hand out the example ballots that tell you how to vote if you are a Republican or a Democrat, and presented my ID to the volunteer at the table. We exchanged a few pleasantries and then I was shown to the voting booth.
I cast my votes for U.S. Representative and 4 ballot measures. Now finished, I looked for the person with the "I Voted" sticker. I am a little crazy about wanting that sticker sometimes. I didn't see anyone with the stickers, so I walked sort of slowly so the workers would notice me leaving. They did and I got my sticker.
I put it on as I was walking to my car, knowing few would see it since I was headed home. As I did, I felt the spirit wash over me. I was grateful that I had come to vote and exercise the right I have to. I was grateful to be an American, to remember the founding fathers and all those since who have fought for this country. I was grateful to the women who fought for the right to vote, that I was able to vote because of them. I was grateful to be part of the process and knew it didn't matter if the candidate or issues I voted for won, not because I was apathetic, but because in our system it is the majority vote that prevails, and we all win when that succeeds. I was grateful to realize that I could make a difference.