Each time I go to the polls to vote, I take my two children with me. Yes, they enjoy coming along because they like saying hello to the people who work there, getting an “I voted” sticker and maybe to get a cookie or two. But the primary reason I take them is because I want them to see the institution of voting in America. I want them to see the (often) weathered hands that hand me a ballot, to see the line of voters in silver booths hunched over as they study and mark their ballots and to see the smiles and respect individuals show one another without prejudice toward person or party as they take my marked ballot and slip it into the ballot box.
I want them to see and understand the seriousness of it all – in hopes that one day they, too, will take it seriously.
I vote because in the back of my mind I hear my late father reminding me that it’s what we do as Americans. It’s what we should do. It’s part of our job description. It’s one of our obligations as citizens. Yes, it’s on par with serving jury duty. But I also see it right up there with driving safely, abiding by our laws and pulling over when we see someone in need. It’s part of our social compact.
I also see it as a way to honor all those who came before, who gave their lives fighting for or defending our right to vote. It seems a small price to pay.
So that’s why I vote.
Why do you vote?
Editors’ note: Share your reasons for voting in the comments below. Feel free to skip the name-calling, posturing or partisan fighting that often characterizes comments on Watch Sonoma County stories. This post is a chance for you to share with your neighbors why voting is important to you.