At my local precinct, I was the fourteenth voter who walked in that morning–at least according to the nice lady at the counter who counted my ballot.
It wasn’t surprising; I went in just after 7:30. But even for a busy mayoral race in Savannah, I could count on one hand the number of voters in that refurbished Baptist church (including myself). I was also the youngest person by at least two decades as well.
But no act of voting in the state of Georgia would be complete without that iconic “I’m a Georgia Voter” peach sticker that somewhat justifies all the noise that local politicians and their PR agencies subject us to.
It’s a suburban badge of honor that signifies that the wearer exercised his or her democratic rights---and probably stopped at Starbucks on the way to work afterwards (Don’t look at me like that--it’s called self-care!).
I remember my first election like it was yesterday-- even though it wasn’t real. When I was in the second grade, my parochial school made us do a mock election for the 2008 presidential election between Barack Obama and John McCain. I don’t remember who I voted for, but I do recall a certain eczema-plagued kid in my homeroom class who constantly reminded/scared me at recess that OBAMA KILLS BABIES and it wasn’t until high school that I realized that he was talking about abortion. (I don’t think the nuns even covered that in elementary---but hell if I know; my favorite school subject as an eight-year-old was snacktime.)
My mom thinks voting is super-duper important, even though she isn’t a citizen (yet). But as a green card holder of 20+ years, she probably knows more on civics and current events than native-born Americans who can’t be trusted to even know the names of their senators or point to Ukraine on a map. As a kid growing up, studying citizenship questions with my mom made me better appreciate the privileges I possess as a U.S. citizen, as well as the sacrifices my mom makes to give me a better future. I hope I can make her proud as a small-town editor/reporter/ receptionist writing silly little op-eds for the public. (Knowing her, she’ll probably tape this print edition on the fridge and share it on Whatsapp with my aunties and cousins).
She was the first person I texted when I finished up voting, and of course I sent her a corny selfie of me wearing my Peach Sticker. I can’t wait for the day when we can go voting together--that is, if our democracy doesn’t completely collapse before then.