I always forget how much I love voting. It's a rush--from the moment I spot the 'vote here' signs I get excited. I love that school gymnasiums, the children's section at your local public library and church community rooms transform into gateways of democracy for a brief day. I love the random group of volunteers that greets you--from retirees to college students. I love when you sign in, receive your secret ballot and retreat to the covered voting booths to cast your ballot. I love seeing your neighbors receive their 'I voted' stickers and put them on with pride. It's pride, it's a process, it's making a decision and standing by it, it's a secret, it's democracy in action.
Today's local elections will most likely bring in a record low voter turn out today. Perhaps it's because these were the main options for the big ticket item, the Mayoral race: George Davis, occupation: Writer/Nudist Activist; Grasshopper Alec Kaplan: Vegan Taxicab Driver; Harold M. Hoogasian: Florist/Coffee Farmer; H. Brown: publisher, SF Bulldog with degrees and certifications in Fire Technology, Cryptology and Emergency Medical Care; Chicken John: showman. Absolutely hilarious, until you reach the reality of the situation, it's a shoe-in for career politician Gavin Newsom who states in the voter info pamplet: 'San Francisco is a beacon'. Yet he can't even make it to one Board of Sups meeting in his 4 years as Mayor.
I met someone today who said they don't vote--why? he asked me, it doesn't matter. These were LOCAL elections that effect the everyday in a very tangible way...and it scared me. I'm scared that I'm part of a generation bogged down by cynisim, oppressed by apathy, disconnected and dispassionate. What does really matter then?