I know that there are lots of people who are ready for the election to be over. And I get it. Elections can bring out the worst in people. They can cause rifts between family members and the closest of friends. They can be incredibly stressful (trust me; I can't sleep until the results are in, even if that means staying up all night). The negative propaganda and annoying commercials where candidates focus on their opponents' flaws rather than the issues are enough to turn off even the most loyal supporters.
But for me, an election is an exciting time. I consider myself to be a fairly political person, even though I don't talk about it much around these parts. I was raised by parents who were very politically active in the 1960s and 70s, and my sister and I were taught from a young age the importance of making ourselves aware of the issues and of our role in deciding who governs us. I couldn't wait to turn 18 and vote in my first election, and have been an active voter ever since. I even get a little emotional every single time I hit that "cast ballot" button. I am officially a political dork.
People love to say that your vote doesn't really count, but it does. I'm not going to list all the reasons why you should vote (although if you haven't yet, I'm urging you to get over to your local polling place and do it!), but I will say that we are incredibly lucky to have the right to make our voices heard and make an actual difference just by taking a few minutes to push a few buttons or make a few marks on a piece of paper. There are people in other parts of the world who devote their lives to fighting (and some who would even die) for the right to vote. It's a pretty awesome right, one that I'm very grateful to have.
Election Day is almost like a holiday to me. I don't watch a lot of television, but when the polls close and the results start to pour in, I am glued to the tv. Despite the stress and negativity that may surround it on various levels, I love this day. In one single day, the fate of our country for the next few years is determined, and to know that I had a say in it is pretty powerful.
What are your thoughts on Election Day? Is it exciting for you too, or are you counting down the minutes until it's over and life can return to normal?
Top photo, in all its glory, taken by my friend Crystal. Margaret Mead quote image by me, for you. Feel free to use it and spread the word. Power to the people you guys.