October 2012
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Voter

Today is the last day to register to vote.  There was a period in my life when I abstained from voting because I believed my vote just did not matter.  As I matured, as I observed people around the world willing to die for the right to become voters; active participants in their governing, my attitude changed.

Although I remain skeptical about the influence of my ballot in the major races, I staunchly believe I can and do affect the local political arena, especially in California where the ‘Referendum’ remains an active part of the political pasture.

My re-entry into the voting quagmire was ignited by a dear friend who was a naturalized citizen from a third-world country who held a  PhD in History from Stanford.  With his encouragement, we hosted ‘vote-debates’ in my home; inviting friends and family to an evening of pro and con discussions of the California ballot.  A truly amazing and profound experience.  To participate,  one had to go beyond the 50-second commercial interest ads to the heart of the issues.  These gatherings never became shouting matches, and at times persuaded me to alter my position.

I miss those meetings.  My friend has long since passed over.  Life marches on, and I find it more and more challenging and time consuming to pour over the ballot ‘legalese’ in an effort to be as responsible as I can to the honor and privilege of voting.

Perhaps it is time to bring back vote-debate night.

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