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November 6, 2012 / bethanyshondark

Reflections on Election Days of Yore

Election days are some of my favourite and most humourous memories looking back on my childhood. My mother was liberal. Really, really liberal. She brought me into the voting booth with her every year. This is how I was taught to vote:

  • Look down the column for the “Right to Life” party. Immediately eliminate those candidates.
  • Compare the candidates in the Green and Democratic parties. If there is a woman, vote for her. If the choice is between two men, or two women, vote for the candidate with an Irish or Jewish name (my mother was Irish, I’m Jewish).

The first election with candidates that I remember is 1996. I was 10 years old. I helped my mom pull the lever for Ralph Nader. In 2000, we had a very big fight over who would get her vote. She wanted to vote for Nader again, I demanded that we vote for Gore and Lieberman. I had Gore/Lieberman bumper stickers plastered all over my locker, my notebooks, my bedroom. I wanted a Jewish vice president. She let me have her vote, and thus, it went to Gore.

The Presidential election in 2004 was my first voting experience by myself as an adult. My mother died two years previous. I voted for Kerry/Edwards. Well, I really just voted against George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. I will always regret my first time (to channel Lena Dunham).

I have never in my entire life voted for a winner. Not for the President. Not for the Senate (I wouldn’t vote for Schumer because he shared a first name with my father, I thought Hillary was a carpetbagger running for New York State Senate). I never voted for a successful House candidate.

I’m starting to think I’m jinxed. I’m seriously considering writing in Honest Toddler tomorrow. No matter who I vote for though, I’ll be continuing the tradition my mother started with me in the voting booth when I was an infant. I’d say I’m sad to be voting without my mom around this year, but knowing her and politics and me and mine, tomorrow might be the only day every four years when I’d say that I’m glad she’s not.

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