October 30, 2012

There's no room at the Library

     Can you believe it?  I couldn't find a parking spot today at the Library!  I felt a bit like a stalker driving around until I saw someone walking to their car then snagging the spot.  As if that wasn't enough when I walked up to the doors I saw there was actually a line going around the building?  A sense of pride washed over me as I realized these people were standing in line on a chilly Tuesday afternoon so they could vote early!!
     With the election just one week away I am not going to jump on the political bandwagons out there.  There are enough people spewing sharing their views one way or another and my voice, as glorious as it is, isn't needed.  All I want to do is encourage you to vote.
       I remember when parents headed to the local school all hours of election day; which is probably why we had off that day, to vote.  I first heard of absentee ballots while I was in college.  The reality was in the 80's there wasn't a real push to engage college aged voters and getting absentee ballots weren't all that easy so I missed the 1984 presidential election. Since 1988 I'm proud to say I've never missed a presidential election and very rarely have I missed any opportunity to vote.
    This will be the first presidential election that my two oldest children will be able to vote in.  I love how engaged they both are seeking out answers to their questions and discovering which candidate is best for them.One will be voting by mail from Alabama and the other wants to wait until election day to vote.
     Here in Florida I can't imagine the Supervisor of Elections making the process any easier (note me swiftly side-stepping all the voter id issues). We have 7 days, including a Sunday, to vote early.  You can vote anywhere in your county, at which site is most convenient for you.  Don't think you can make it to the poll? You can request an absentee ballot up until 5pm on October 31st~ no questions asked.  As far as I am concerned nobody has an excuse for not voting in the Sunshine State.
     What does amaze me is that not every state offers early voting.  According to the National Conference of State Legislators (check out their cool map) 32 states and the District of Columbia offer early voting.  Two states, Washington and Oregon do all of their voting my mail (learned something new today). As far as absentee voting goes 27 states and DC will mail a registered voter one no questions asked while the remaining 21 require a qualified excuse.  Finally 7 states offer permanent absentee voting for their residents who meet qualifications.
   So whether you consider yourself Conservative, Liberal, Republican, Democrat or simply confused like me please be sure to cast your vote in this presidential election.  'Cause like my Dad used to say:
 If you don't vote you can't gripe


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