I Voted


As a kid my mom always took me into the voting booth with her. She voted at PS 200 at Jewel Avenue and 164th Street. You walked into a curtained alcove, pulled a large lever to draw the curtains, then pulled tiny levers to cast a vote. The levers went down with a thud. It was built like the proverbial brick shithouse.

As a little kid looking up at the slate of candidates I was impressed. It never took Mom long. She was a straight ticket voter.

She never missed an election. My mother wasn’t politically active, but Sidney (next door) and Morris (downstairs) were both Democrats and union members and they got out the vote! Seriously, they got out my mom. It works.

I started voting in 1972. Now that I think back, I didn’t vote my first year of eligibility. ’72 was Nixon versus McGovern.

Spoiler alert: Nixon landslide.

My joke at the time was, “People said if I voted for McGovern the country would go to hell. I did. They were right.”

Since then I’ve made it my business to vote whenever called upon. It’s possible I’ve missed a primary or special election somewhere along the line, but I’m confident I’ve voted in every general election since 1972.

My individual vote has never mattered. There’s never been a contest close enough to care. It’s OK. My vote is not wasted. It’s my obligation, my civic duty.

Helaine and I voted by mail this year. Voting is super easy in California. There are loads of options. I sat out on the patio with my state authored guide and took my time.

Yes, it does feel weird to know Tuesday is election day and there’ll be no machine for me to touch. And, like all the years which preceded it my individual vote will decide nothing.

The mail in ballot comes with an “I Voted” sticker.

3 thoughts on “I Voted”

  1. My father was an Arizona US Senator Barry Goldwater supporter (1964) & having written a few editorials in his favor in Wilton, CT Bulletin, our house barn was defaced/vandalized – I was away with the Vietnam War era in USAF during that time zone. Goldwater ONLY won 6 states and Lyndon Baines Johnson won other states giving Johnson 486 electoral college votes and Goldwater 52 electoral college votes. That incident had an impact on me making me feel guilty which I don’t know why to this day but it did. Fast forward I worked for NBC News Election Results during 1970 – 1980 while a school teacher and learned that voting results can be rigged. I have never been a big fan of voting but I was offered offices to seek during elections in Danbury & Ridgefield & which I declined. Recently, I was drawn into US Presidential campaign and as a volunteer with Trump campaign. I was always off on side of any election involvement but somehow got drawn into this one – no regrets – ONLY I wish the old one lever pull for political party within voting booth was still around – not noting taking on student desk format. Voting has changed SIGNIFICANLTY over the years YET people still show irrational behavior albeit 1964 or today.

  2. I registered to vote a few days after I turned 18 in 1973, and have only missed one election to my knowledge. It was one of those off year primaries just to get someone on a ticket.

    I always say, if you don’t vote, you have NO right to complain about who got in. Your vote could have made the difference – you never know when that might happen.

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