In a few minutes Richard and I will go to our polling place and cast our ballots on Election Day 2010. I’m looking forward to the experience, because voting always makes me feel good.
We will drive down Route 62 to the All Saints Episcopal Church. We will wait in line with our fellow New Albany residents and prove our identities to the kindly senior citizens who always staff the registration table, then we will sign in, get our voting registration slips, and be escorted to the voting booths. We will work the touch screens, choose our candidates, and push the green “Vote” button. Afterward, we will get our “I Voted Today” stickers, and I will feel the familiar, warm feelings I always feel when I have voted.
Why does voting make me feel good? Part of it is just being proud to be a citizen, to be trusted with having a say in how our country, our state, and our district are governed. Part of it is feeling personal satisfaction at fulfilling my civic duty. But a significant part of it, too, is relishing my personal participation in the experience of a fundamental collective activity of the American people. Today, across this magnificent country of ours, Americans will be quietly going to their neighborhood schools, libraries, and places of worship to exercise their franchise, choose their representatives, and decide whether to authorize taxes or change fundamental policies. Democrat and Republican, self-proclaimed progressives and Tea Partiers, they all will make their decisions behind the voting booth curtain.
It is awesome and humbling to be a little part of that grand affirmation of the American idea. That is why voting makes me feel good.