The Rewards of Doing the Right Thing

I voted on Tuesday.  I was one of the 10.5% of registered voters in Los Angeles who bothered to learn about the two candidates for my Assembly District’s special election and I went to the polls and I voted.

I have done this in every election I’ve  been eligible since turning 18.  Hundreds of thousands have died to give me this right, and billions of people don’t have it, so I find it an abomination that anyone who has the right to vote doesn’t, especially in something as important as who will make the laws that govern our state.  Yes, an abomination.  Sorry to sound so judgmental, but come on — people in other countries will stand in line for 3 days in order to vote, and risk their lives, and here, voter turnout goes down by 22% if it’s raining.

As of this morning, my candidate is only ahead by 171 votes, out of 26,000 cast, so a recount is happening, and I have never felt my vote was so important.  Yay!

I got two more rewards out of voting.  First, when I turned from the sidewalk to head up the walkway to my polling place, one of the young poll workers inside threw her arms in the air and said, “yes!”  It was around 2:00 in the afternoon, and I am pretty sure it had been a slow day.  Let me rephrase: it had been a slowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww day.

There were six poll volunteers, all wearing I VOTED stickers, and after I cast my ballot, one of them handed me the sheet of stickers to get one, and I took the ninth one off the sheet.  I’d like to tell myself that it wasn’t the first sheet of stickers, that maybe I was the 59th person (including the six of them) but I have a terrible fear that it was.  That just nine of us (including the six of them) had voted in that polling place, seven hours into an election day.  Knowing I was one of those nine was incredibly rewarding.  I felt like it magnified my vote tenfold.

The second reward I got was a great find in my neighborhood.  I didn’t know exactly where the polling place was, so I looked it up on Google Maps, and right there, on the map page, between my house and my voting location, the name of a business popped up: LA Mac Repair.  A few blocks from my house!  With 11 five-star reviews!!  I am so happy to know this person is minutes away, and as I struggle to make everything on my shiny new operating system work (this is so not my strength), I have the joy of already having reached out to Richie, my newly discovered local guru, and found out that his prices are reasonable and he is up for a house call that he can walk to.  Oh Happy Day!

And it wouldn’t have happened if I’d never bothered to vote.

Thanks, Universe!!  I love being rewarded simply for doing the right thing.

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3 thoughts on “The Rewards of Doing the Right Thing

  • Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt

    As someone who has lived out of the States part of my life, I take the right to vote very seriously – and hope I taught my children the same.

    It makes me happy that it is SAFE and PLEASANT to walk into the school gym, find people sitting there who know where I live, and have a book with my signature for almost every election since I’ve lived in NJ (since 1981).

    When we went on vacation to Mexico, we voted for Obama’s second term by mail, and then sat up HOURS in the hotel room to watch the results. It is NOT trivial – and if people don’t use their right to vote, they’re going to find themselves on the wrong end of laws and politicians that they then have no right to criticize.

    I am judgmental, too – and you don’t get excused because ‘the outcome was already certain.’

  • Valerie Alexander Post author

    Agree 100%! I get a great feeling every time I walk into a polling place. And you’re right about voting regardless of the outcome. Voter turnout lets the folks in charge know that we’re paying attention, and it’s still in our hands.

  • Nancy Jean Tierney

    I am so proud of you that you have the same feeling about our right to vote. To me it’s always been my civic duty. I’m often very involved, but even when I have no real ‘dog in the fight’ I’ll make sure I am fairly well to very well informed and take the time, no matter the weather, to pleasurably exercise this right, even on the most minor of elections. It truly confounds me that most of the public is blase’ about it, and then still feels they have the right to complain about the office holder they chose to ignore. It’s very had to put oneself ‘out there’ and run for office. Very low voter turn out is a very sad thing, and often winds up with the wrong person in the job.