How long have we been waiting for this day?
Election Day 2008, and history hangs in the balance. Will America elect Barack Obama? The polls and endorsements overwhelmingly indicate yes. Already Dixville Notch has weighed in, Obama beat McCain 15 to 6.
I don’t want to predict that the numbers will go that way, but let’s just say that this bella has a good feeling.
In Miami where I live, almost everyone I know enjoyed the privilege of early voting. I wished I could have joined my husband when he voted last Sunday.
Which brings me to something of a confession.
I am so extremely passionate about this election, and I’ve made no secret of the fact that I support Barack Obama for president. I’ve frequently written and spoken about my admiration for Barack and Michelle Obama. But today I can’t get out and vote.
Because I am like the folks written about in this recent Philadelphia City Paper article, “one of millions of people who will be greatly affected by the outcome of next week’s election, but won’t be able to cast a vote in it. And yet, some of these same people â€” those who don’t meet citizenship requirements, the incarcerated and the underaged â€” are more invested in the political process than many eligible Americans.”
I’m in the process of becoming a citizen of this country. Many of my friends assumed that once I married my very American husband, I’d automatically be a citizen. But no – there’s expensive paperwork to be filed, and a test to take.
If there’s one thing I already regret, it’s that I didn’t file my paperwork over a year ago, so I could have participated in this historic election.
I yearn to vote. But I can’t yet.
I am happy and proud to live here. America is a magnificent place – full of opportunity and idealism. I fell in love here, and I live here, and I plan to raise my children here. That makes the prospect of a President Obama all the more significant to me. My kids will be like Senator Obama himself – biracial and bi cultural. The fact that someone like him just might be elected into office warms my heart and fills me with so much hope for my future, and for my unborn children as well. He inspires me. And obviously, he inspires so many others.
I can’t vote today. But you can. Believe me as an onlooker who is unable to — voting is a privilege. I hope all of you who can, exercise your right to do so.
1) Make sure that you have your driver’s license (or an alternative form of state-issued picture ID) and voter registration card together in your wallet/purse RIGHT NOW. You should have already checked to make sure that the information matches. You may want to bring a second form of state-issued picture ID with you to be safe as well.
2) Wear comfortable shoes.
3) Wear and/or bring a few layers of clothing. There’s no telling what the temperature will be outside or inside your polling place so plan for anything.
4) Bring a rolling backpack, book bag or small suitcase with you. You may not want to carry a bag on your shoulders for hours on end. Remember, comfort is key. Check your local regulations, however, to make sure that you can bring bags to the polling place.
5) Bring am umbrella just in case.
6) Bring a book and/or magazines.
7) Charge your cell phone/PDA tonight and bring it with you. But please don’t be one of those obnoxious people in line talking loud and for way too long. Keep your conversations classy.
8 ) Check today to make sure that you have enough daytime minutes on your cell phone if you don’t have an unlimited plan.
9) Bring your laptop if you feel like carrying it around.
10) Load up and charge your iPod tonight. Remember to bring it with you tomorrow.
11) Bring food and water with you. You may in line for breakfast, lunch and, God forbid, dinner, so plan whatever meals, snacks and drinks (non-alcoholic, please) you need to bring with accordingly.
12) Bring gum or mints–especially enough to share. There’s nothing worse than standing in close proximity with someone with bad breath or being that person.
13) Bring a lawn chair with you if you can. Once again, comfort is key, but also check your local rules and regulations to make sure this is permitted.
14) Make friends with the people around you in line. You’ll need them to hold your spot when you take bathroom and/or mental health breaks.
15) In the event that you are in line with people who won’t be voting for your candidate of choice, please keep your cool and the peace.
16) Please don’t get discouraged by the wait. Remember that this is bigger than you. It is critical that you vote.
17) And most importantly, VOTE OBAMA!
By 9 p.m., the votes will start being called. So I’ll be back with a post about our next president. We’re making history today bellas!