Wednesday, November 04, 2009

364 Days

One year ago today, at around 8 in the morning I voted. At that time in the morning I happen to be number 117 on voting machine number 2 at my polling precinct.

Yesterday around 6:30 in the evening, I voted. Once again on voting machine number 2 at my polling station. This time I was number 168.

Now if the polls open at 6 am and I was number 117 approximately 2 hours later last year, shouldn't I have been a higher number last night when I went to vote after work?

One year ago today, I had a childlike giddiness in anticipation of marking a little x by my candidate's name. A first for me.

This year, I faced voting with dread and uncertainty. A first for me.

For my non- New Yorkers let me explain. Yesterday was a mayoral election and it was down to 2 candidates. The incumbent who after balking at overturning term limits voted for by the people, switches gears and campaigns to overturn them so he could have one more term (at least) but generally liked more than the dude he replaced (SIDEBAR: I think Satan is liked more than the dude he replaced...hahahaha). And then there's his challenger, the former head of the bored of miseducation but generally all around quiet nice guy. On principle, I didn't want to vote for the incumbent. As a democracy, I believe we can't have politicians changing laws all willy nilly to suit their own needs. (Sorry, Willy and Nilly for once again getting the bad rap). And quite frankly, the challenger didn't inspire me. Not to mention, he would (once again) have control of the school system here, and I'm not sure what the hell he did the last time he ran it but I'm not too trusting him to do better.

One year ago today, I stared up at the names on the ballot with pride and awe inspired glee seeping through my pores.

This year, I stared up at the names on the ballot and wondered WHAT THE FUCK??!!! as I unconsciously shook my head (think: "this is some BULL").

Begrudgingly, I voted. Flipped the tiny x next to a candidate's name. While I may not like either candidate, I had to vote. People forget that it wasn't that long ago no matter how light I am, I wasn't allowed to vote in this country. We also get so caught up in the daily routines of our lives that we forget that this one single action effects the daily routine we are so caught up in in the first place. I often wonder why people find reasons not to vote instead of looking around their neighborhoods to find reasons to vote.

So while there was no rock star excitement, no hope, no change I can believe in this time around, I voted. But for the first time in my history of voting, I felt like my vote didn't matter. Maybe next time, someone's name will inspire me, will make me believe in the process again. Like it did one year ago today.


rashad said...

First off, you ARE light enough to have voted back then despite Jim Crow..

second, more and more, people are becoming less inspired after leaving the voting both...and the candidates continue to ignore the trend. something has to give

Organized Noise said...

As you know, at 4pm, I was #128. Although I knew for a long time who I was voting for in the big race, the thing that disappointed me the most was the number of candidates that ran unopposed. It's almost like politicians don't want to run as much as people don't want to vote. Sad on both ends.