Now that the 2012 elections are over many of us are reflecting about what exactly
happened on November 6th. Besides the obvious fact that President Barack Obama won reelection in decisive fashion over challenger Mitt Romney, people should sit back and think of their personal experience about their involvement in the elections.
What I experienced this year was like no other year. The 2012 elections would mark my fourth time participating in the presidential elections. Every election had
their own unique story to them. The 2000 elections were very controversial. The
2004 elections were also marked with controversy. The 2008 elections were
historical. Although those elections were memorable in terms of newsworthiness
all I did was vote and stress the night away.
That's where we come to this year’s election. It began just like the other times I
voted: I woke up, got dressed, went to the polling station and voted. Not very
memorable is it?
The memorable part came when me and my mom went to the physical therapy facility where my dad was recovering from a recent medical emergency for the past few weeks. He was real adamant about voting in the elections regardless of the condition he was in. He had the nurses get him ready by 12 noon, ate and waited for us to arrive between appointments we had scheduled that day. When we arrived he was waiting next to the nurses’ station fired up and ready to go.
We wheeled him to the polling station across the street and stood in line. We
explained the situation to the folks behind the fold out tables that this location
wasn’t our precinct and that the physical therapy facility informed us that we
could vote here (provisionally of course). The lady we were talking to, she
must have been in her late 60’s early 70’s, pulled out the provisional ballot
form to fill out and told us to come back to the front when he was finished.
Just as I was turning pops around she placed her hand on his right arm and said
‘God bless you’.
Mom had to fill out the form for pops because his right arm was very weak and I’m left handed and would smear everything I wrote. When it came time for his
signature I had to guide his hand or else his signature would have looked like
a bunch of scribbled circles in the same spot.
We went back to the lady and handed in the form and she handed us the ballot and went through the spiel about how to mark it. We then asked her if one of us
could go into the booth with him to help him mark his ballot seeing as his hand
wasn’t the steadiest. She looked at his signature and said it was ok but only one
of us. So I elected to go with him.
Filling out the ballot posed a bit of challenge. Since pops had been in a single room his memory of things began to slip a little so I had to read the entire ballot
to him. Thank god we didn’t have that 12 page Florida ballot or else we would
have been there all day. Once I read the little blurb about the issue I had to
then put it in easier non partisan terms. Once he came to a decision I would mark
his ballot for him.
Once we were done filling out all of the candidates, measures and propositions his
ballot was sealed up and he pushed it in that oversized orange Jan Sport ballot
box. The guy behind the box almost got away without giving pops his ‘I voted’
sticker. Pops was very adamant about getting his sticker and wouldn’t leave
without it. He pealed it off and put it on his jacket and bragged to the nurses
back at the rehab center.
This is what will be the most memorable part of the 2012 elections for me. This
really showed me how important the simple act of voting really is and how we
take it for granted. Pops just days before the registration deadline found out
he was kicked off the rolls and had to fight to get back on them. Then pops has
a medical emergency that almost prevents him from voting. Neither one of those
incidences prevented him from performing his civic duties.
What was memorable about your voting experience of the 2012 elections?
UPDATE: Pops came home today and is enjoying 'real' food.