Thursday, October 25, 2012

007 and Early Voting!

I voted early today.  Not because I had any intention of voting today but because I wanted to be able to vote when the time came in November.  Here is the story.  I needed to update my drivers license because I have moved and thus had to update my address.  I am not sure but I assume most states are like mine.  When you update your drivers license you also can register to vote, or in my case re-register to a new district.  However, with it being so close to election day I was informed that if I simply re-registered through the DMV process I would not be eligible to vote in this election because it takes too long to process the request.  I was informed that if I desired to vote in this election I must go to the Election Commissioners office across town, and tomorrow is the last day to register! 

So with a sense of urgency I traveled across town to the Election offices to discover a line of hopeful voters filling the building, sidewalk, and parking lot!  Since I had traveled this far I thought why not wait and see how the line is moving. The line moved fairly well so I stuck it out despite the cold and the rain.

While waiting the half hour for my turn I made an interesting observation.  Nobody was in a bad mood.  Everyone was if not excited, genuinely content with waiting and chatting about the lousy weather.  Beyond everyone's contented excitement, there was absolutely zero discussion of politics!  In my time in line or inside the building or in the voting booth area did I one time hear a single person discuss what candidate they were supporting or how horrible they feel the candidate they were voting against is.  

The only conversations I did hear was about the process itself.  The importance of voting.  The responsibility of it all.  The honest joy it brought them to feel their individual voice mattered.  Everyone just stuck out the line and voted their opinion.  I find this reality interesting.  I have no idea what it says about my city and the people I get to share it with.  I don't know what it says to the larger political climate in our nation.  Perhaps we just realized at this point we had made up our minds and the conversation in line wouldn't change that.  Perhaps it is a reminder that the talking heads on television, radio and internet are really in the entertainment business rather then the information business.  So their excitement, anger, and poles don't really relate to the common voter of the midwest, even if some of us are in "swing states."  Perhaps it really means as long as we feel we have a voice we are willing to deal with the outcome, so long as we had our say in the matter.

Well I received my ballot and discovered to my utmost elation, as well as that of the employee helping me, that I am now in a voting zone that has the number 007!  Also while re-registering he said I could vote today if I wanted.  So today I voted and though I don't believe my voting zone gives me a license to kill it does give me a voice in the process.  I hope you have a chance to vote this year.  I hope you also take the responsibility very seriously. 

Below are some good links to help you think through the responsibility of voting and how to process that responsibility as a Christian.  None of the links I will share give any support to any candidate and I will not share here how and why I voted the way I did.

Is there Room for Christ in the voting booth?  A great article by the Executive Minister of Chicago for the American Baptist Churches USA.

The Pastor and Politics   A reminder that a pastors place is not to persuade parishioners in political issues but to proclaim Christ crucified.

What Belongs to Caesar?  Red Letter Christian article on why loving or hating a political opponent for abstract things is unChristlike.

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