Tuesday, September 12, 2006

what does one vote matter?

I went to vote this morning in the primaries. Our polling place was supposed to open at 7am so I arrived at 7:15am with my son in tow. We waited patiently in line for 20 minutes, only to find that the polls were not opening -- the republican judge had not showed up, and the polls could not legally open until both the democratic and republican judges were present.

I had to leave without voting, so my son could get to school on time. Now, I will try to go vote later today. So this is not about how my one vote could have changed things, but won't since it wasn't cast. I was upset this morning, because I really treasure my right to vote. And I had to explain to my son why I was upset. His question -- what difference does it make? What does one vote matter?

And so I tried to explain. People have died for the ability to cast that one vote. How a democracy isn't a democracy unless people exercise the right to vote. How a single vote can be the difference -- what if Roe v Wade had been 1 vote the other way? What if the supreme court had 1 more vote in Al Gore's favor -- would we be at war right now? Participating in the process is more than an exercise, it defines the process, it makes us what we are.

I hope he got the point.

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