Voting Record

I just voted. What with a mid-November birthday, this was only my 14th year of being able to vote (I was too young by about a week in 1995!).

I don’t have a perfect record. But I’ve managed to vote in most of the general elections since 1996. I’ve been registered in 3 states (Minnesota, Michigan, and Illinois), and I’ve had the opportunity to vote in some interesting, if not hilarious elections.

I was thinking about the highlights while I drove from the polling place to work. The highlights thus far of my voting career:

  1. In 1996, I got to vote for Paul Wellstone, and feel really local about it since before he was a senator, he was a professor at my school’s (fairly friendly) rival cross-town college . We got to see the Green Bus. He was a good guy. I cried the day he died in that plane crash.
  2. In 1998, I voted in the election in which Jesse Ventura won the governor’s seat in Minnesota (I did not vote for “The Body”). News coverage the morning after was hilarious. You could all but hear the NPR radio announcers in Minnesota slapping their palms against their foreheads in confusion and frustration. They were almost mad that they hadn’t seen this coming.
  3. In 2000, I was part of a movement of at least my husband and myself, but I think quite a few other Michiganders as well, which could best be called “Stick it to Governor Engler.” I’ve forgotten what we were mad at him for. There was probably a pretty sizable list. Anyway, Engler was backing “W” in the Republican primary. So we showed up at the open primary and voted as Republicans for…John McCain. Yes, if you know much about me and politics, this is a bit astounding and bizarre (as in, I’ve voted for both McCain AND Wellstone…not to mention Obama).
  4. In 2004, I voted for Obama as Illinois Senator. But, in the fine fashion of the bizarre world of Chicago politics, I have to tell you about my polling station. We went to this location in our neighborhood for two reasons: to vote; and to get body work done on our car whenever someone dinged or smacked it in the course of street parking. Yes, our polling station was our local body shop. I truly love the city of Chicago, in all its quirky glory.
  5. Of course, having been an Illinois voter also means I’ve voted for some scoundrels. Yes, I voted for Blagojevich. If you can believe it, the other options that day seemed worse.

I don’t mean this to be overly political or about endorsing parties or candidates, and yes, you can probably make some pretty good guesses about how I voted today.

It’s just to point out: there’s something interesting in almost every election. So get yourself on to the polls if you can still make it today. There’s a part of the story you’re supposed to participate in!

2 Responses to “Voting Record”

  1. MaryAnn Says:

    I miss Paul Wellstone, so much.

  2. Susie Says:

    L was supposed to go volunteer for the Wellstone campaign with a couple friends who were on staff. Instead, he attended the funeral. It still makes us so so sad.

    Yup. Blogovich did seem better at the time. Of course the other party’s governor was also about to go to jail… what is WITH illinois??