Every time. Every election since I can remember.
I miss my early voting days when I snuck behind a thick curtain like the Oz in Wizard of Oz. I can still picture my ballot, holes punched out indicating my choice for the various offices. It was a private and unique experience.
Now it seems less special as you stroll up to a barely even semi-private desk with a computer touch screen. I feel like the whole world is watching what I do, not that it makes a difference, but still.
This year, since my older children are both under 13, they joined me on each side, creating a bit more privacy. I wish I would've brought a big blanket with me; they could've each held a side to give me that closed in curtain feel, like the good ol' days.
Anyway, with all the changes, one thing still remains the same for me.
I cry when I vote. My husband laughs at me for this. But seriously, when I stand at the voting booth, two things come to mind and these two things lead me to tears:
1- I see the faces of those in other countries who are not allowed to vote. They literally flash before me. They are the faces of women.
2- I ask, why me? Why was I born in this country with these rights? Why am I so fortunate in this way? I thank God for the privilege and it makes me cry.
I love putting the little "I Voted" sticker on my jacket. I love walking out of my local high school having casted my vote. I love my freedom, although I rarely think about it or thank God for it.
But I did today, because of this election.