After waiting 18 years to be of legal age to vote, I finally got to do so Tuesday Nov. 8. Ironically my 18 birthday fell on an election year. I waited to vote the day of the election and the polling place in my hometown was not in its usual place. Given White Oak was a small town, I still had to endure the stressful hunt to find our designated polling place, which had been moved to the back building at a local Church.
As I entered the polling room frustrated and unamused, I made my way to the three women checking in voters at the front desk. “Oh, is it your first time voting?” they chimed with an optimistic grin. I told them it was my first time and they seemed overly enthusiastic to share this lovely experience with me! They instructed me that the ballot machines were not touch screen, which was helpful because I probably would’ve stood there tapping the screen and disturbing the other voters with the claims that my machine was “broken.”
While selecting my vote for the presidential candidate I remembered my life-long dream as a child was to be the first woman president. I was going to hire a painting staff to paint the White House green. (disclaimer: I’m a different person now, I would vouch for black.) My Secret Service detail was going to drive matching green Volkswagen Beetles to ensure my safety. The lawn of the White House was going to be converted into a petting zoo and Disney Channel would play Lizzie McGuire on a continuous loop.
In my 8 year old mind, that seemed like the logical way to maintain a peaceful country and keep my people out of harm’s way. Plus I’m sure Hilary Duff would thank me for
the massive increase in her paycheck. Here I am, 10 years later with a much better understanding of politics, casting my vote for the candidate I thought was best suited to run the United States of America. I grabbed the “I voted today,” sticker and made my way out of the polling room. My first voting experience wasn’t everything I dreamt it would be.