Thursday, February 28, 2008

Misty Eyed Voter

I voted today. I was glad to use a good old soft pencil and paper for my ballot. I realize that voting is a bit off my topic for this blog, but I think the technology that is altering the ways we vote is pertinent since this is a blog about tech issues. I have grave concerns about the different methods by which people vote and the technology involved, from hanging chads to more sophisticated concerns such as whether one's vote is really counted and whether it is really private. I think we need to be very cautious about jumping in with technology in this arena until we can know for sure that our votes really are being tallied correctly.

As to my experience today, there was not a line to vote at our courthouse annex, but there was a steady stream of people going in and coming out. I stood behind an older man who looked to be in his 90's. He looked glad to be there, as was I. On the way home after casting my vote, I surprised myself by getting a bit choked up. I grew up in a family that was actively involved in elections. My dad was party chair in our Texas county for many years and we all pitched in to make the voting move smoothly. I was in charge of sharpening pencils. We were there all day, and after the votes were cast my dad had to drive around and collect ballots, and then deliver them to their destination. He was likely to be out all night that night. So voting is sacred to me. However in a lot of my most easily remembered experiences, my pride has been mixed with feelings of futility, stress, and even regret because of the candidates and my concerns about our country's direction. Today I had a big smile on my face during the process of voting. Like my favorite Texas singer (next to my daughter) says: "It Feels So Good Feelin' Good Again."

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