I voted this evening. I arrived at the polls after six when the final push to the polls was happening. It was a hectic end of the day. Because of Election Day my school district does not have attendance, but instead has parent teacher conferences from 7:30 until 3:00 and the students have the day off. As a social studies teacher it concerns me that students get a day off for elections. However, looking at the broader perspective, safety, there is no easy way to secure a public building for a day and a polling place needs to be open and accessible. So voting won out and for the past few elections it has worked well.
The conferences went well, though I have a few follow up issues for the rest of the week, but that is normal. We have two more nights of conferences: Thursday and next Wednesday both from 4:30 to 8:00 to accommodate parents who cannot attend during the day because they work. After conferences I stayed after school and worked in my room, it was quiet and I was able to get a few things accomplished. I was on my way home and dialed home to talk to Beth and realized that I needed to be at William’s school for his parent conferences. I made a few turns and was soon sitting next to Beth listening to how William is doing in seventh grade science. Overall, William’s conferences went very well and we left with a few to dos on our list to discuss with William. He is an amazing young man who can be incredibly focused and unfocused all at the same time. When he sets his mind on a vision there seems to be nothing that can stop him or slow him down. We also heard that he has incredible heart and willingness to reach out and help his classmates. William never ceases to amaze us.
After William’s conferences we needed to vote and Beth and I headed to our polling place, not far from our home. It was just after six and there was an hour left to vote. Voters were coming in after work, after a day with kids, or just because it was when it fit in their schedule. Voter turnout was much higher than the February election with almost twice the voters in my precinct alone. I voted electronically, no ‘chads’ for me. I reviewed my choices and pressed ‘cast ballot’ and my civic responsibility was complete.
I have done my job, but it is not complete. The democratic process does not stop with the cast of a vote. It continues by being aware of the issues facing my community and remaining active and engaged by writing and communicating my concerns with my elected officials. They need to know what is important and what is not, guessing with the future is not an option.
The remainder of the evening was spent at home: eating dinner, helping with homework, baths, walking Ivy, and the daily events that make a family a family. William and Beth went to scouts and Olivia and I stayed home. When they returned there was the frenzy of finishing last bits of the day before bedtime. By quarter past ten, I was exhausted and spent and another day was done. Today had been a great day with tomorrow possibly a million and six times better! Making the Days Count, one day at a time.