Civic duty

I don’t really remember going with my mom to vote when I was a kid.  I know that I did based on what I’ve been told, but I don’t remember it.  I know that Lexiana won’t have a long-term memory of going yesterday to vote with me.  I took her nonetheless.  I talked to her about it.  I explained that we were going to vote for mayor of our city and that a mayor is in charge of the city.  (And, yes, there were other offices on the ballot, too, but mayor was a big one and easiest to explain.)  She probably won’t remember that either.

I told her that in 16 years, she’d be able to vote.  And I explained that voting is important, because it’s our way to have a role in government and how things are run.

Here’s the thing: I’m not a super political person.  I’m not active in the party I tend to vote with.  (Yesterday I ended up voting straight along party lines after having done my research.)  I don’t put campaign signs in my yard.  I don’t blog about politics.  I don’t even share my political opinions with many other people.  But, I love to vote.  I think it’s incredibly important.  The decisions my government makes affects my life in some ways.  I at least want a say in who is representing me.  Of course, the people for whom I vote don’t always make it into office, but I like knowing I did my part.

And I can tell you all the things about being a woman and how my foremothers fought for me to have a right to get out and vote.  I can tell you how that makes me feel even more like I need to be out voting come Election Day.  And that’s the truth.  I do appreciate that.  I can only begin to imagine what it would have been like to live in the world they did where they were expected to be ignorant and stupid just because they were female.

I will share these things with my daughter as she grows.  I want her to understand that as Americans, as Christians and as women, we have a civic duty.  We have a responsibility to do a bit of research, get off our bums and go to the polls come Election Day.  I want her to understand that she can make a difference.  Elections have been won and lost by one vote.

Yesterday she was just happy to walk with me into the building, get some candy and see the people at the polls.  She didn’t understand that we were doing what women years ago weren’t allowed to do.  She didn’t understand that I was getting a say in how our city is run.  She didn’t understand that this whole voting thing is part of the democracy of our country that makes it grand.

I hope that one day she will understand all that.  I hope that one day she will join her mama and enjoy going to vote.  I find it fun and, even if I am voting a straight ticket, I still go through and select each individual by name.  It’s more fun that way.  I hope my kiddo learns that, too.

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