Tuesday, October 23, 2012


it's been very interesting trying to follow election coverage from another country.  i mostly have been reading my usual news portals and trying to keep up on the latest meme (which currently seems to be horses and bayonets).  i have subjected my poor host family to watching the debates carried by CNN español every week and translated into spanish.  some of my peace corps friends and i have discussed the campaign some.  the beauty of it all is that even though i'm a couple thousand miles away from home, i still can participate in this big experiment called democracy.

a couple weeks ago i got an email from the Wake County Board of Elections with my absentee ballot, complete with instructions on how to mail, fax, or email my ballot upon completion. i think living abroad has made me appreciate this ability (and responsibility) much more.  it's not compulsive, it's not mandatory, but it's my responsibility to vote.  i sent my vote in and marveled at this thing we call democracy.

basically, i don't care who you vote for, just vote one way or the other.  protest vote. just make sure to vote.  i did it from nicaragua. with early voting fairly prevalent now, it isn't even such an "inconvenience."  no one is intimidating you to vote for a certain candidate (hopefully).  you aren't being publicly shamed because of your choice.  you don't have to worry about the opposition party coming to power and you losing your job/house/etc. you're still able to buy a car/house/anything else regardless of your vote or whether you voted at all.  that ability is something not to be taken lightly. 

this election season has been quite polarized.  very few people are undecided (and i kind of want to know what rock they're living under if they still are).  if you want any right to complain about what is happening in the country, vote. it's what makes this whole thing called democracy work. 

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