Tuesday, November 6, 2012

I Voted!

It feels good to participate in the democratic process. I have done my civic duty, I have cast my ballot, I have exercised my right (a right that wasn't always available to women I might add) - voting IS a big deal. Regardless of who you vote for, we should all vote.

Between 1960-2008 only 50.1% - 63.1% of the voting age population turned out for presidential elections. The 63.1% happened in 1960, 2008 only brought out 56.8%. For elections held on off presidential years (every 2 instead of 4) turnout has been less than 50%. That is criminal! See source here. Go Vote!

Did your medical significant other get to vote?

My husband tried to vote before his shift today, but he started work before the polls opened at 7 am. There is always a chance that he could be at the hospital after the polls close at 7 pm. He is hoping to sneak away between cases to do it. This is where planning ahead would have been wise. We live in a state with early voting. Could have done that. Absentee voting wasn't an option because we only received our voter registration cards a few weeks ago. We just moved here and dragged our feet getting our driver's licenses. And there is something to voting on the day that the elections are held. It's exciting! We both like casting our ballots on election day.

Voting does require some advanced planning. And we should have planned better just in case. I looks like he will be able to get away soon, but somewhere there is a doctor who thought he would get to vote today but won't. I wonder if anyone has a poll for that?

Before he left he asked if we were going to watch the election coverage all night? YES, of course we are. It only happens every 4 years! And every year is important. This is about the last thing he wants to watch tonight.

Do you know your local politics?

While I am pleased that I have done my part, I am also reminded that I have failed. Looking at the ballot today I realized I only knew about 3 or 4 of the elect-able positions out of probably 20-25. I knew the big ones, but not the smaller local ones.

I have used the excuse that because we are most likely only residing in this state for another 8 months that it doesn't really matter. But it does. There is someone in another state that may share the same view of the world that I do that could be moving here when I leave. They could be affected by my vote or my lack of vote.

The truth is I haven't really been interested in local politics in my last state either and we were there for 6 years! Shame on me. I used the same excuse that because this wasn't our permanent location I didn't care what happened in the school board, my kids wouldn't be going to school there.

Politics really is local. These are the races we should be focusing on. These are the elected positions that will have impact in our schools, our communities, our towns. Just because they don't impact you today doesn't mean that they won't one day.

The national election certainly gets most of the publicity and it takes much more effort to find information on our local elected leaders, but it can be done. It's not that hard.

My resolve for this next election cycle is to pay attention to my local races and local politics. It would be nice to at least know the candidates names and positions before I go to the polling place. And then I can regurgitate it for my husband, because let's face it, he will never have enough time to study all the candidates positions at every level.



  1. We all went together this morning before he went to work. The recent storms and all...well, the hospital still doesn't have patients and the outpatient imaging load is so small that he has a few weeks to focus on only research. Thus, he was able to vote this morning.

    Like you, I know nothing about local politics. Frankly, there's barely time to keep up with the bigger stuff.

    1. I haven't kept up with the news to see how the people affected by the storms are handling voting today so I am glad that you both were able to get out. We had a bad thunderstorm last night and I kept thinking about your pictures of fallen trees. I can't imagine what the sound of that storm must have sounded like.

  2. I'm going in a few hours after work! I'm still registered in my hometown though so I have to make the 1 hour drive. My husband is still at his away rotation, so he filled out an absentee ballot form this weekend. I'm still skeptical as to whether it made it there on time though...advance planning is not his strong suit! I'm also bad at the local political stuff :(

  3. Depending on which side of the isle you voted for each party has their way of guiding their folks. Where I live (a swing state) a party supporter stood outside the polling place with a sheet giving me a list of who to vote for under which position and what levees to vote for or against based on my party affiliation. I never had this experience when I lived in TX (not a swing state). Dont' know if its a new thing bc of current political climate or if it's part of being a target group in a swing state. I'm pretty solid with my party's issues so it did not phase me to vote for raising taxes to help the local school districts and mental health assistance programs. Regardless of party affiliation it's imperative doctor's, their wives and kids dabble in politics. We are an important segment of society and are very much affected by all decisions made both locally and federally. It sure did feel good to vote and feel like my vote counted, let me tell you! Glad you performed your civic duty. And I'm really proud of DrH. His attending let him run away for an hour before a case to go vote also! Great day all around from our perspective.


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