There, I Voted
Now please stop nagging me
It is our ritual. Every Election Day — even if only for local seats — my husband and I get up early and drive to our designated polling place. We always vote in person on Election Day. No ifs, ands, or buts.
For the 2020 Presidential race, we woke at 5:15 am, left the house at 6 am, and checked out the line. At 6:20 am, there were only 12 people. So we journeyed to a local drive-thru for breakfast. Twenty-five minutes later, the line was only about 30 deep. We stood, fighting the chilly wind for 20 minutes, before we entered the church and cast our votes. By 7:45 am, we were pulling out of the parking lot.
This, by far, was the quickest voting process for us ever. During the 2012 Presidential race, we stood in line for a few hours. In the 2004 race, we voted in Miami after standing in line for half a day.
I know, time is precious. But so is exercising our right to vote. There’s something about getting up and getting to the polls on the day when everything happens and tallying commences. I couldn’t imagine voting early or by any other means than in person — that’s just how I roll.
But, I digress. The point of this piece is simple.
If any of the websites, social platforms, or people incessantly nagging me to vote were salespeople, I would have left the store and never returned
True story. Because the sheer amount of nag these past several weeks was almost unbearable. Facebook didn’t even include the usual “don’t show me this again” option. I had to constantly click the X, telling the network to “show me fewer posts like this,” but it made no difference. On the regular, I was prompted to take some sort of action. I wound up focusing on work only, nearly abandoning most of my personal accounts.
It’s ridiculous, because a simple confirmation click stating, “I’ve already done this,” should suffice. But not this time. Not for scores of sites I visited during October.
Voting is an essential component of our democracy. I wish everyone qualified would register and make their voices heard. However, these past weeks I couldn’t help but feel like I did when my mother would badger me to clean my room — when I was like 12.
If there’s one sure good thing to come from this election, it’s that I’ll be able to return to my social media accounts without having to deal with the force-feeding from platforms that were built entirely on the notion of people connecting with each other on a personal level. I’ll be able to start shopping as usual, without feeling like a brand thinks I’m ignorant of current events. I’ll be able to unmute some friends who think their political stances are the only ones that matter to the entire world. Hmmm… I may have to rethink that last one. I’m sure some will still be calling those who voted against their favored candidates uneducated morons.
And now, we brace ourselves
No matter the outcome, damage is expected. Shops in major cities have boarded up, prepared for either celebratory or angst-ridden riots. Many people will not be venturing out in the coming days, concerned for their safety. And some of the folk who were so nice in the voting lines this morning will return to being keyboard warriors, unable to accept an opposed outcome.
We’ll get through the mess and eventually get back to some kind of quasi-normalcy. How long it takes will be up to Americans as a whole. Especially since, no matter what, we’ve much work to do as a country.
But the “vote now” nag fest will finally be over
No more prodding me to register to vote, even though I’ve been registered for years. No more pushing me to request a ballot by mail. No more hounding me to early vote. And no more ‘in my face, can’t mute them’ reminders to go to the polls today. I did it, as I always have. Hopefully, I can soon return to my regular routine. Because I sure miss seeing all the fun and engaging stuff these websites were designed to show me.