I have a humble confession to make tonight: I forgot to vote. This is something I try very hard not to do. As someone who works in politics and government I believe it is important to vote. As a person who believes in engaged citizenship as a check against bad and overbearing government I realize it is important. And as a Republican living in a difficult district I know it is important to support Republican candidates.
For this particular primary election it is a double failure as a friend and former colleague was on the ballot. Ouch.
As is so often the case, I had good intentions. I remembered it was election day this morning but was late getting my daughter to school and so decided to vote after work. The polling place is just down the street from our house so I was sure to have plenty of time. I even check the Franklin County Republican Party website to make sure I had all the candidates in my head.
Alas, something came up at work and I had to stay a little later than usual. And then my gas light was on and so I had to stop for gas. And traffic was backed up so it took longer than usual. And as soon as I got home I was inundated with kids wanting to play, helping get dinner on the table, eating dinner, discussing the events of the day with the family, etc.
When I finally sat down to the computer voting was the last thing on my mind. As it happend, my wife had put something on our joint calendar about the circus and I had never remembered to ask her what that was all about. But when I saw some pictures on Facebook about Grandview friends watching the circus animals walk into town I knew what she had wanted to do.
I could not resist the opportunity to chide her for not following up. “It doesn’t do any good to put something on the calendar if you don’t take the time to check it!” I said sarcastically.
A few minutes later my serving of humble pie came calling. I realized that I had totally forgotten to vote. I panicked but soon ascertained that the polls had closed just a few minutes before I came to this realization. Ugh. I mentioned this to my wife and she used the well deserved opportunity to throw my zinger right back at me.
Lessons: 1) if something is important set a reminder that you can’t miss 2) don’t dish out advice unless you are prepared to have it come right back at you. And 3) Absentee ballots are an easy option.
I know this seems like a small thing given the circumstance, and I understand low turnout is not exactly a rare occurrence, but I pride myself on not being one of those people who blow off elections because they are not convenient.
Next time I will try to be a better voter, Republican, and friend. Oh, and husband too.