In the Voting Booth

As we watch the unfolding of the election, and await the predictions of winners in each state, I’ve been thinking about what went through my mind in the voting booth.

When I’m looking at the ballot, I don’t just see the names of candidates. I think about all the things I’ve seen and read about the candidate. My goal is to be as educated as I can for the tops of the ticket (I will admit I need to do better about candidates further down the ballot).

My choices are often selfish, but rarely self-centered.

Before I push the button for a candidate, I see the face of my daughter. Which candidate speaks highly of the women in their lives, advocates for equal wages for equal work, may not believe in abortion and still believes a woman should have control over their own body, and has women as part of their team.

I see the face of my son and husband. Which candidate believes crimes against someone because they are LGBTQ is a hate crime, supports same-sex marriage, works to insure LGBTQ civil rights are upheld, and has LGBTQ people as part of their team.

I see the faces of my husband, friends, and coworkers of color. Which candidate believes Black Lives Matter, works to overturn racist policies and laws, attended BLM protests, and has Black and People of Color on their team.

I see the faces of my students. Which candidate has actively worked to improve education, believes in effective professional development, believes in high standards, has advocated for increases in educator pay and funding for education in general, pushes for a decrease/abolition of standardized testing, and talks to actual educators to decide upon policy.

I see the faces of my family and friends growing up in poverty. Which candidate fights for universal health care for all, an increase to $15.00 for the minimum wage, works to increase the tax rate on the rich, believes in generous time off with pay for new parents, fights for social security, advocates to close the Medicare donut hole, and walks among the “common” folk looking for ways to help them.

I see the face of my grandson and the world he might grow up in. Which candidate believes in science, believes climate change is real, works to help the larger community, advocates for the commons (i.e., infrastructure and parks), and treats those around them with respect.

Those are the things I see and look for in a candidate before I push the button in the voting booth for them. What do you see and look for in those for which you vote?

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