Romancing the Election

When my kids were little, I voted in metal booths with levers and a curtain. There were little levers by the candidates’ names; when you clicked one to the “down” position, a little red “X” appeared in a box next to your chosen representative or “Yes” or “No” on a legislative initiative. Below the panel of choices was a large red lever. If you pulled it one direction, the curtain closed and the small choice-levers were unlocked. Once your choices were made, you pulled the large red lever in the opposite direction with a huge mechanical groan, your voted was, thus, recorded, and the curtain opened.

Whether my children were babies or teens, I took them into the booth with me and delivered the following speech:

Today, we are participating in a quiet and peaceful revolution. It is both your right and your obligation to vote in every election for which you are eligible. Your grandfathers fought in World War II, as many others have before, then, and since, for our right to do this ~

And, with that, we would all put our hands on the big red lever and pull it to record our vote.
We, in New York, held out the longest to retain our metal voting booths, but the Modern Age of voting methods, pursuant to a change in Federal election law, is upon us.

NYC Election Day 2014 ©HaileyReede

Now, instead of pulling a red lever to record our vote, we feed a sheet with ovals we fill in with ink to a scanner. And I am still grateful, very grateful, for all the people, with a special message of love and thanks to my Dad, my late father-in-law, and my nephew, who have fought for my right to do this.

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