Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Doody the Goat says, "Get Out & Vote!"

I love Election Day! For me, this is almost as exciting as the feeling of waking up on Christmas & Easter! Beyond the religious holidays that anchor my faith, this day is one that inspires profound gratitude in me for the gift of being an American citizen! I prefer to vote on Election Day (as opposed to absentee), as I like the gratification of going to my polling place, casting my vote, and receiving my sticker that says, "I voted today!"

As a child, my grandfather stressed to me the importance of voting. Often he was still harvesting when Election Day came in November. I can remember that he would feed the animals, have breakfast, and then dress to go to town. It was a special day, and he would not go to the fields until he had voted. My grandparents would take me with them to the polling place. I can recall Grandfather taking my hand and leading me with him to the booth. He would kindly answer my many questions (probably the same every time) about the machine. We would talk about what he was doing and why he was voting. As I got older, and was at school while he voted, I can recall the two of us sitting around the kitchen table and discussing the election over dinner. Grandfather encouraged my interest in politics and always questioned me so that I learned to defend my views on issues.

Election Day was set on a Tuesday due to the need to avoid interrupting the Sabbath or market day. It was expected that farmers would need a day to travel, a day to vote, and a day to return home. Thus, Tuesday was the day selected to permit this schedule to occur. This shows not only that the Founders valued the farm vote, but that farmers strived to engage in the political process even though it involved lengthy travel for many. In modern times, many people complain that they must wait a few hours to vote. They forget that voting used to be a process for which American citizens set aside days! Beyond this, too many people forget what a blessing it is to be able to vote in a free election!

As Americans we are truly blessed to be able to vote! I hope you will exercise this amazing freedom today! Doody the Goat says, "Get out and Vote!"

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