Mid Fall, 2008, Oil on Gessobord, 5x5
I am not so sure about my extended family, but I do know for certain that my mother never once voted. Not only did she not vote, she was proud about not voting. She was hostile and critical and yet completely uninformed about our government and politicians in general. Her common rant was that her vote didn't matter so why bother.
When I was first eligible to vote, it was 1984. I was in college in Minneapolis and had learned a lot about being involved. Granted, I was in art college and we were all a bit melodramatic about everything, including (maybe especially) politics but I was very proud to go in and vote for Mondale/Ferraro. I have voted in every major election since then and when we lived in Utah I began voting in all the local elections as well, with my little babies in tow. It was tough voting in Utah, as the line between church and state was a bit blurry. I was not very happy about having to go to a local ward (LDS neighborhood church) in order to cast my vote. The ladies who checked me in made sure to remark loudly that they did not know who I was; they didn't know me because I was NOT a member of their church, HOW is that relevant when I am voting in a public election?
Anyway, I am off to vote later today. Obama gets my vote this time and I will also be casting my votes for a slew of local seats, including a judge, a senator and various state legislators. A few of these campaigns are pretty hot around here! And we are lucky, no long lines here in upstate NY, our town has about 350 households and there are never more than about 3 people in line to vote (at the town hall thank you!). But any wait at all is softened by conversation with friends and neighbors as well as a snack from one of the platters of home made cookies or banana bread at the registration table.
I loved my mom, but she was wrong not to vote. I intend to set a much more positive example for my children than she did for me.