Wednesday, May 07, 2008

just one more reason why i'm the biggest idiot to walk the face of the earth:

I didn't vote yesterday because I realized that I'm not currently registered to vote. Anywhere.

I didn't get to vote in 2000 because I wasn't old enough - I turned 18 a mere days after the polls closed. I did register to vote (in Lake County) immediately after that, though, and submitted my choices via absentee ballot while away at college in 2004. Although I've been living in Jasper County for the last three years, I never renewed my license until January of this year, when I turned 25. (Actually, I turned 25 in November and didn't realize that I was running around with an expired license until one random day in January.) I distinctly remember the woman at the DMV asking if I'd like to register to vote in Jasper County, and I said, "No, I'm already registered in Lake County, thanks."

My flawed logic didn't become apparent in my air-filled head until yesterday at 4:25 p.m. - an hour and 35 minutes before the polls closed.

I was on the phone with a friend, asking where our Jasper County voting site was, when I remembered that I never registered here. No big deal - I could leave for Lake County (where I used to live) right after work, easily cast my vote before 6:00, and treat my political awareness to some Chipotle for dinner. So I hung up and called my mom to see where she voted. During our chat, she reminded me that I'd need my license. "Mom, I wouldn't be driving all the way up there without my license....." I said, ever the smartass. Then we started talking about what we should barbeque for Mother's Day this weekend. Right in the middle of saying that I'd love to have some grilled broccoli, I blurted out: "Oh my God! I renewed my license!"

My mom thought I was bonkers, so I explained the situation to her. Her response? "Oh well - you were going to vote for Obama, anyway. Good!" And then she laughed. My mom, obviously, is a Clinton supporter.

I spent the better part of my evening convincing myself that Obama would win in a landslide, and my one measley vote would have just been icing on his cake. Watching CNN last night, I had to work overtime to make myself believe that the "Indiana Too Close to Call" headlines would read "Obama Sweeps Indiana" by the time my alarm went off in the morning. Even though I had been so excited for weeks that my vote in Indiana would actually mean something this year, I began secretly praying that my individual vote wouldn't mean anything. I didn't want Clinton to win by one or two votes. I didn't want to be left knowing that if I hadn't been such a moron, I really could have made a difference.

Well, forget that! She won my state by 2%.

Looking at the results this morning, I guess I wouldn't have made much of a difference at all. Obama won in Lake County with 56%, and Clinton won in Jasper County with 65%. No matter where I was registered, I'd have just been a number. But I'm still not comforted.

I hate that I missed being a part of something monumental for Indiana because of a stupid oversight on my part. I've never been terribly political - and, admittedly, I do think that Clinton will excel in the Presidency should she get elected - but I was really hoping to physically pull that lever and declare, even if just to myself, my belief in Obama. I rarely take a firm stand on current issues, and it started to feel good to know that before the end of the day, I would change that about myself. I'm just disappointed in myself, I guess.

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