Prepare to vote

Happy New Year! I plan on doing a weekly post here. We're now fully into the election year -- just 11 months until we go to the polls. If you haven't been doing it all along, please start studying the issues so, come November, you can intelligently cast your ballot. And if you're someone who hasn't diligently voting in every election, add that to your New Year's Resolutions. Our nation doesn't ask that much of us as citizens (short of paying taxes). It's the least you can do.

When I was a young girl, I remember my mother taking me into the voting booth with her. Back in those days, it was a large, three-sided machine that had a curtain for the fourth wall. You went into the booth and pulled a lever that closed that curtain behind you, and set the machine to accept your vote(s). There, by each name or issue, was a small lever that you pushed if that's what you were voting for. You pushed all the relevant levers, then pushed the curtain lever. Doing that caused the machine to record your votes, clear them, and open the curtain so you could leave. This is where the phrase "pull the lever" came from to describe voting.

While I've been an avid voter my whole adult life, sadly I didn't follow in my mother's footsteps, taking my daughter with me as I voted. And today, she's much more lackadaisical about voting. I remind her, nudge her to vote, but she often doesn't. It breaks my heart.

So parents, it may not be enough to let your children know you voted (as I always did with my daughter). Take them with you and hopefully they'll turn out to be avid voters like me.

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