My First Election: Report from the front lines

I know I’m a little late on this. But: I did it! I voted! I must say that it’s pretty awesome for my first election that the candidate I voted for won.

I early voted. I went on Saturday afternoon around 2 or so. My dad decided to come early vote with me. He took me with him to elections when I was younger, and now I was voting for the first time. Couldn’t pass that up! We didn’t realize there was a line until after we parked and opened the door to the lobby; the line was contained inside. It did take an hour to get through, an hour that my dad took every opportunity to snap pictures of me waiting in line. Apparently this was worthy of celebration. I spent the hour in line people watching, one of my favorite past times. I tried hard to listen to the conversation in Spanish behind me, but all I could pick up on was ‘Obama’ and ‘Palin’. Many of the older people in line donned shirts that had the American flag, or other symbolic images.

When we finally got up to the desk where they take your ID (I definitely didn’t know they could slide your license; guess that would explain the thick, black stripe!) and hand you the ballot, I was smiled at and shown to the room. As I was waiting for the woman to send me to an open desk, the women at the ID station burst out in clapping and exclaimed “first time voter!” to the girl behind me, just as they had done to the girl in front of me. Hey now, first time voter here, too - where were my cheers and applause? But I guess they could have their clapping, I get this blog.

Voting felt a lot like the SAT’s - filling in the circles. (Only this time, I knew the right answers for sure.) I then took my ballot, with the privacy sheet, and slid it into the machine that ate up the paper, or whatever it does, and received my “I Voted!” sticker (which now sits with all the awards I’ve received and concert tickets; important things, you see). On Tuesday night, I watched the numbers come in on CNN as I talked to several friends (those in other states who voted laughed at my paper ballots, my best friend said it wasn’t “real voting”) and we all waited until 11 to roll around so they could call California. Minutes after 11, my newsfeed on Facebook exploded with status changes to “go Obama” and the like. I received several comments, one from my former AP Lit teacher, exclaiming “We did it!” that night. At school Wednesday, Obama shirts were prominent and the election was all anyone talked about. I also heard numerous times how relieved people were to not have to watch political advertisements anymore (I was never subject to this, we disconnected our television months ago.)

Yes, we did it. Only two more months until Bush leaves and Obama is sworn in. I am excited and anxious to see the changes come, for this will be the first time I really pay attention after an election.

Now: any suggestions on what I do now? Is there anything else I can do?

So, that’s over. I came, I saw, I conquered voted. Next life defining moment? College applications.

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