On election day in 1988, I was sitting in my fourth grade classroom focused on a math worksheet, when I heard clicking noises come down the hallway. I looked and saw my mom walking down the hallway with our dog Toasty on a leash. She had come to take me out of class for a couple of minutes so that I could be with her while she voted. Several weeks earlier my parents had taken us to a Dukakis rally and I had my red and blue Dukakis/Benson poster proudly displayed in my bedroom.
I looked up hopefully at my teacher, she smiled and waved me out. Toasty was leapingly thrilled to see me and I bent down to give her a hug before we headed downstairs. As I walked into the voting booth with my mom, I was awed that she was letting me help her with such a grown up thing. I don’t remember exactly what the style of voting was in Portland in those days, I believe it was a punch card system, but I can’t be sure. This was just a few years before Oregon went to a mail-in ballot system.
That moment has become an indelible memory in my life, and plays through my head every time I walk into a voting booth in Philadelphia. I always enjoy voting, each time I do it, I am feel a shiver of excitement that I’m being give an opportunity to participate in the process of government. Despite all that’s happened in the world, I am not able to be disillusioned or jaded when it comes to election time. I am always hopeful that my candidates will win and that it will mean better things for this country. Call me hopelessly naive, but I hope that I never lose my sense of hope.
Looking for a little something more? Check out my election day post from last year.