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On July 20th, 1989, the very first thing I did when I got up, I went to register to vote.
It was my 18th birthday, and my first act as a legal adult was to go down to my local County Clerk’s office and fill out my voter registration card. This was the single most important thing to me that day, everything else was secondary.
My mother had spent several years involved with the League of Women Voters, and a few years as the president of the local chapter. One of her duties was at each major election, she would go down to an office on the Truman State University (then Northeast Missouri State University) campus, sit outside the office where the votes were counted, and as tallies were given to her, she would call them into the national ABC News office. I was in my early teens and I would go and sit with her, but a few times, due to my excitement over the process, she would let me make the phone calls into the national office. (She always stood next to me and would double check the numbers I gave to make sure I reported them correctly)
I learned very early on about the importance of being a voter. I learned that no matter how much you thought only one vote didn’t matter, it really did. Unfortunately, there is one thing I hate a lot in life, and that is standing in lines. It never stopped me from doing my patriotic duty, I just grumbled about it a lot. Luckily we can now vote up to six weeks before the election in my area, so today after lunch, I went down to the same County Clerk’s office I went to in 1989, walked in, got my ballot, voted, and walked out. Yep, I have already cast my vote in the 2008 presidential election. Even if my candidate doesn’t win, I will know I at least had my say. If the opponent wins, I know I will at be able to say for the next four years, “Don’t look at me, I didn’t vote for him.”
If you aren’t registered to vote, why not? It just so happens that I did a list over at Mashable today called 10 Resources for Voter Registration. It couldn’t be easier to register to vote nowadays, and if you need some motivation, watch the video below.
Come on folks, it’s time to make sure you take full advantage of your freedoms.