Later today, I will be heading down to Oshkosh City Hall to cast an in-person absentee ballot. When you work in the media, Election Day is incredibly long and hectic--so spending up to an hour in line to vote can be almost next to impossible. Voting early eases some of the stress of that day.
Another reason I will be voting today is that I feel the need to cast my ballot before this election process gets me to the point where I don't even want to vote anymore. As I listened to last night's debate here on WOSH, I was overcome with this feeling that we are going to be in for another long, hard four years--and that the fallout from those four years is likely going to linger for the majority of the rest of my life.
Maybe it was the naivete of youth, but I really used to look forward to voting every election cycle. But as the years have gone by, that enthusiasm has waned. The first problem is that we are in a never-ending election cycle now. People roll their eyes and groan when I says the RACE FOR THE WHITE HOUSE 2020 starts the Wednesday after the election day. (I'll put an hour's pay on Fox News Channel having poll results moments after the race is called showing which Republican is the "early frontrunner" four years out.) After a while, you just need a break.
And then, the quality of choices at nearly every level of government has gone downhill as well. The only person I can think of that espouses the same values and beliefs that I have that's been on the ballot in the past decade has actually been myself. (It wasn't like you could just vote for Paul Ryan in 2012--and drawing an arrow putting him at the top of the ticket and Mitt Romney under him would have just messed up the voting machine.)
Unfortunately, making me not want to vote is a campaign goal for both of the political parties now. When you have lukewarm support for your candidate within your own party, convincing more of the other party's members--and especially those who consider themselves "independent"--to stay home and not cast a ballot becomes all the more important. Well, I refuse to be manipulated in that way. They still have write-in slots--and I can still vote for my principles and not have to "compromise" by selecting the "lesser of two evils".
If you still plan to vote on Election Day itself, I wish you strength and resolve to make it there. You're going to need it.