I have a confession to make.
I just voted for the very first time.
Ack! It makes me cringe to admit it out loud. I did register to vote when I turned 18, but I soon moved out of the state for college without having had the chance to go to the polls, and haven't re-registered since.
My main reason was the fear of jury duty. It's not a pretty picture in California. You get $15 for each day. Not so bad if you don't get on a jury and just have to whittle away two days sitting on a bench reading. Not so good if you do, at least for the working class. That's some serious loss of wages.
My company does cover employee pay for two days, but I didn't want to risk loss of pay if I was chosen to be on a jury for longer. So I just never registered in California and hoped the jury people didn't know where to find me.
And my consolation was that I was a blue girl living in a blue state.
All that changed when Gilberto became a citizen of our country and was so proud to be able to vote. He signed up the moment he walked out of the courthouse doors, with only five days to spare before the registration deadline. His excitement inspired me.
Actually, Gilberto almost didn't get to vote. The person who took his registration didn't submit it.
When we walked out of the courthouse doors, there were two giant tents set up, one for each of the main parties, and lots of people walking around with clipboards and voter registrations. In the chaos we took a clipboard from a woman before we saw that she was wearing a McCain/Palin sticker. Gilberto marked himself as a Democrat. She didn't seem too pleased.
It's a good thing I was a bit suspicious with the way things went down. On the last day to register I called our local Voter Registrars office to see if they'd received Gilberto's form, and they had no record of him in the system. They even looked through the pile from the courthouse that day, twice, and couldn't find it. Apparently our volunteer's Republican passion got the best of her. I hope her conscious gets the best of her, too.
Luckily, Gilberto was home from work and was able to get a new registration form submitted in time.
So all's well that ends well. We both got to vote. We both put our say out there (and earned the right to complain!). It's so awesome to really be a part of it all this time! I'm truly ashamed that I haven't been in the past.
And now if I get selected for jury duty, should I act like a loon from the get-go, or wait until they start asking me questions? Oh, I kid. I kid! Though acting like a loon really isn't that much of a stretch.