eyes on wisconsin

of all the times i have voted, i have only voted once in person, in the polls. it was in August 2012 and i remember going to the polls, where my mom was working. she came over and helped me to register and explained to me what to do. i was nervous, my hands were shaking as i walked into the booth and marked my ballot. i double checked it and walked out, feeding it into the machine and looking over at my mom. “is that it?” i asked. she smiled. “yeah.” i teared up. it may be strange but i feel so connected to the process of voting, so much a part of history when i vote, not only because i am helping to make history, doing my civic duty, acting upon my rights as a citizen, but because of all the women who fought for my right to fill in the lines of the ballot. women have had the right to vote in this country for less than 100 years. take a moment to think about that. it’s insane. but there is something more about election days. i remember clearly when Obama won in 2008, watching the votes come in on the TV with my family. i can not express the happiness that came over me when he won, when he walked out onto that stage. that was the only election i have watched the results of at home, in the presence of people i care about and who feel the same way i do. even though i wasn’t able to vote, i felt what it meant for my country. in 2012, it was my turn to turn to others and say “i voted him into office!” her too, as Tammy Baldwin won. i watched the results come in with my Kneesters on G+, I cried, I yelled, I screamed. I called my parents. I wore my Obama button, clear and proud. And today, that feeling has returned. anxious, hope, fear, nerves, annoyance at those who simply want the election to be over so they don’t have to hear ads anymore, who don’t even bother to vote. but there is something else mixed into it all, into the power of watching the people speak, into the power of speaking myself and i just realized what it is: Wisconsin. I don’t feel connected to a lot of things, I don’t have a lot of spirit for many things. Not to the United States really. Not for Salem, never really for West. But for Wisconsin, and I am not sure why: yes. I belong to Wisconsin and it is something I say proudly. So today, as the votes are made, my eyes turn towards home.

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