Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A beautiful voting story

Here's James with a beautiful voting story:

Hello All:

I just wanted to share an experience I had casting my absentee ballot in this year's election.  The entire process was almost three hours long and the most striking thing about the experience was how patient and how determined the elderly, the infirm and the disabled were to wait.  It was cold and it started raining.  I admit that I wasn't prepared for the elements but I too was determined not to wait and to cast my ballot.

After I had voted I noticed a woman being assisted by two people as she struggled to get her footing to walk over to the place designated for her to vote.  I was moved to tears as I realize how profound this experience is for many.  My grandmother, we called her "momo," lived in rural south Louisiana along the river road outside of New Orleans.  She used to tell us stories about how she could not vote.  Every election she would walk miles to the polling place just to be turned back with the same old prohibitions used against African Americans of her generation.  Once she was able to vote, my grandmother never missed the opportunity.  I thought about her as I watched those in their 80's and older "wait."

On November 4, 2008 please WAIT.  WAIT patiently.  Wait with pride.  Wait in spite of those who have attitudes about the weather, the line, the process.  Wait in spite of those who will try to turn you around for some reason they didn't use the last time you voted.  Wait no matter the challenge.

Bring your comfort food.  Bring your warm clothes (layers of them).  Bring your ipods, laptops, files, Bibles, books, radios and headphones.  Bring whatever will make your wait better.  But most importantly, bring your determination to not be turned back.  Bring your determination that "not this time."  Bring your most pleasant smile, and your most determined spirit to "wait" and to VOTE.

Please tell everyone you can.  The lines will be long and not everyone has your sense or sensibilities.  Be a light at your polling place, and be determined not to turn around.  VOTE.

Blessings all

P.S. -- If you can, take the day off.  It will be worth it.


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