Perhaps because it was such a fraught era, with anti war protests, the draft lottery (most of my friends and relatives got high numbers), protesters killed at Kent State...it was momentous and exciting to register to vote. It felt not only very adult but also important.
( I'll bet you can pretty accurately guess my age, now!)
I have always been a fairly sensible person. I knew that "my guys" (and they were all guys) would not always win. I knew for certain that someone would cancel out my vote, like my mother and father did. They always joked about going to the polls to cancel out each other's vote. But they always did vote. It was a big deal. It was a civic responsibility.
Even though my interest in politics waxed and waned like the moon, I almost always voted. Some years I was more informed than others. Some years I just voted a straight ticket. Some years I voted all across the political spectrum, hunting and pecking for the candidates whose views I most shared. I missed some primaries and a perhaps a couple of midterms. But on balance I VOTED.
What has been my experience of voting?
It has been FUN! No, really!
Yes, it can be a hassle to fit it in on the way to work or on the way home from work. Thankfully there is widespread early voting and liberal use of absentee ballots available. I have taken advantage of both. But it was not nearly as fun as going to the polling place!
The polling place feels like a party to me. On presidential years especially, I see scores of neighbors excitedly waiting for their turn to fill in the little boxes on the paper ballot. We wait in line, filled with both hope and anxiety. We chat about the kids, the cats, the dogs, the graffiti, the weather. The line vibrates with excitement.
WOULDN'T IT BE GREAT TO HAVE THAT EXPERIENCE VOTING IN A MIDTERM ELECTION?
We all know it's important this year. Encourage your friends and neighbors to come with you to vote. Invite them to the great civic party. Enjoy the hope and anxiety vibrating through the line. No matter the outcome of the voting, it is worth it, even for the fun.