i wasn't going to vote for president in this election. i really wasn't. i was gonna vote for all the other positions open for me in the state of connecticut, but i knew my vote for president wouldn't count for too much. connecticut is not a swing state, its gone democrat for every election i can remember, including the last one in which i'd voted. i'd voted for gore, like the majority of the state (and hell of a lot of good it did us). such is the electoral college here. a kerry vote would be a drop in the bucket, and anyone else would be a drop that missed the bucket.
but i saw my mom the weekend before the election, and she told me how disappointed she was that she wasn't going to be able to vote...she was flying out early in the morning on tues. to colorado, because her best friend from nursing school is dying. and so i said to my mother, "who were you going to vote for? i'll vote for them for you." she seemed kind of taken aback, and didn't believe me at first. i told her really, by not voting, she would be like me, and i would stand in for her to vote for president. so she told me what i figured she would...she wanted to vote for bush. and i told her okay, because i knew it wouldn't sway the electoral college of ct either way. i knew at least half the kids on my campus alone were gonna outweigh it, let alone the rest of the state.
so, when it came time to vote, i knew what i was going to do. i walked into the voting booth (which by the way are very easy to use, mechanical things without paper involved) and pulled down all the little levers for the things like state representative and senator, voting mostly democrats. and then i stopped and looked at the levers by the names of the people running for president. and i just stopped for a little bit. could i really do this? could i pull the lever for the guy i wanted to kill innumerable times in the last four years? i looked at kerry's name, and felt no spark calling me to choose his. the rest of the state was doing that for me. i was doing this for my mom. my vote was a no vote for this one. so i pulled down the tab for bush and threw the lever to cast my vote.
by far, this was the most surreal thing i've done in a damn long time. but i still live in a blue state. so i have no guilt. all i have is amazement so many other people in the middle of the country chose that same lever. what a weird fucking world it is.