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It's interesting to talk about Election Day without getting into personal politics and beliefs, but I'm pretty sure I can do it- at least I will try. Since I've been a wee lass I've loved Election Day. I've probably mentioned before that I've always been a bit patriotic, even when I might have just kept my mouth shut. But just like many Americans, my parents followed the elections in their own way and it instilled in me a love for political engagement and informedness whether or not we have the same political beliefs. That's something they should be proud of, no matter what my registered party is. So for that, I thank you Dad and Mom.  

I didn't think an Election Day could be more memorable for me than 2008 but back then I had no idea that in 4 years time I would be living overseas in India, filling out an absentee ballot, following the election through iMessages with friends, constant online news reading and Facebook feeds. A year ago, I remember sitting at our dining room table here in Hyderabad and telling R "I am so sad I am missing this election year!" To which R replied, "I am sooo glad you are missing this election year." Hold on! Who says I've been known to have blood pressure spikes, angry outbursts, or multiple facepalms in a row over politics? Pssshh!!! But I had to laugh last night when R said to me "I'm sort of sad about missing this election year." For R to say that, well, seriously, it's been interesting.     

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Me and my friends, Election Day 2008. Just kidding: Election Day in Philadelphia, by John Lewis Krimmel, 1815.
Because the debates happened pretty much overnight for us, I would wake up in the morning with a fresh Facebook newsfeed of hilarity. Mitt Romney says "binders full of women" or he's going to "fire Big Bird" or Obama totally lost that debate, and what jerk Joe Biden came across as, this or that. And there was the constant "I AM SO TIRED OF THESE ADS!" Meanwhile, I saw no ads but heard a lot from non-American friends here who had their own ideas about who should be President. That was something I didn't really expect. R mentioned that he has also enjoyed explaining the voting process, the electoral college, swing states and other things to various coworkers or non-American friends. I can say that I also enjoyed more than once feeling super cool to explain that the Vice-President was President of the Senate. What's the Senate you ask? OH, Well! Let me tell you! I don't remember a ton from my US Government classes, but man, I've felt like a pro lately. And also, I felt very proud that OHIO is once again, the heart of it all. :)
 
This Election Day I am sadly not watching the results come in with 100 other neighbors and friends on a large screen at our local watering hole while taking photographs with lifesize cardboard cutouts of the running politicians. I am not sitting at home with family waiting for a debate to happen at any second over why "my candidate is better than yours." I am probably not even going to be sitting at home watching results on TV. I will most likely be falling asleep knowing that our President is Barack Obama, and waking up to the news of who our country has voted in for the next 4 years. I will also fall asleep very proud to be an American, proud to have exercised my right to vote- even while living abroad- and knowing that no matter what happens, I will always be proud of where I come from. (P.S. Ohio, do me proud!)

....and yeah...I probably lied. Maybe I won't be going to sleep tonight at all. 

 


Comments

Dana Johnson
11/06/2012 7:56pm

My years as an ex-pat has given me many opportunities to explain our unique election system. Although our two-party system isn't my favorite, I do love the fact that I know that on the 1st Tuesday of November, every 4 years, we have an election and that at exactly at noon on January 20, we have an inauguration.

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