It finally arrived. After 3½ years and becoming an American citizen, my big day was today.
I got to cast my first ballot in an American Presidential Election.
As we all know, the actual Election Day is not until November 6th, but today was the first day that you could apply to vote in the Advanced Polls in Georgia. Last election, I heard a great deal about long, long line-ups at the polls on Election Day. Now I understand why.
Firstly, I had to fill out an application to vote in advance. Once that was done, I had to show I.D. Yes, and praise the Lord, Georgia is a state – that somehow seems to have sneaked under the radar – that requires government-issued identification in order to vote. As it should be.
Getting American citizenship in order to vote was something that I knew was required, that I wanted to do and that cost me nearly $1,000. Happy to do it and proud to be an American. So I sure don’t want my cherished vote to be canceled out by a ne’er-do-well with a racial motive and his next-door-neighbor’s phone bill for ID, following the creed: vote early, vote often.
Once the poll-worker confirmed my government-issued ID, I was asked to sit down and wait til my name was called. When it was, I was handed what looked like a credit card and pointed to a voting machine.
I put the credit card in the slot, activating the on-screen instructions then I went through the process of touching the screen against the candidate of my choice for President and then various other local seats for things like County Commissioner and if the Georgia Constitution should be altered to allow Charter Schools to be built upon county request. You get to confirm or change all your choices in a summary screen, then hit the button, “Cast Your Ballot”.
“Cast Your Ballot” for the President of the United States! Me!!
I handed back to the polling worker my ‘credit-card’ and took me an “I’m a Georgia voter” sticker.
So many people take this privilege for granted and will never understand what a thrill it is for an immigrant. I know that sounds hokey, but I’ve wanted to be an American since I was in my twenties.
Now after voting for my choice for President for this great country, I truly feel like one.