It's the second Tuesday in November, and we all know what that means - Election Day. While some Novembers are much more exciting than others, I always dutifully turn in my ballot to the drop box just a few yards away from my office (I wait till Election Day though - it needs some degree of ceremony). But it's the ballots that we cast in the "off years" that seem the most important to me. Sure, the races for the Oval Office and state leadership are important but a lot of the little issues that impact our day to day lives happen in the off years.
My biggest election frustration is when people choose not to vote in the years where the races aren't making headlines and front page news. Just because it's not the splashiest, most discussed ballot, doesn't make it any less important. Even in years where we are choosing a governor or a president, those issues at the local level are still on the ballot (just on the back). It will still make a difference. The phrase "every vote counts" isn't in the common parlance for nothing.
What it comes down to, for me at least, is a matter of privilege, and respecting that privilege. Just about a century ago, I couldn't have cast a vote. And since I have opinions on most everything now, I am pretty sure I'd have opinions then too. The fact that hundred of women, and men, stood up for my right to vote means something to me. If I don't take the opportunity to cast a ballot, to make my voice heard, then it feels like I'm disrespecting the sacrifices they made and the work that they did. I think the same idea could apply to any of us - the Revolutionary War was partly fought based on the "No Taxation without Representation" situation.
So cast your vote, drop your ballot off, and happy Election Day!
P.S. Our little house of an office was officially certified as a historical building at the city council meeting last night! We're feeling pretty great!