While this is my first time voting while overseas, it’s not my first time voting absentee. Four years ago, I voted absentee in MA as I was campaigning (for Obama) in NH for election day. NH was blue that year.
Actually, I can’t even think of a time that I voted for a presidential candidate on election day. I’ve also never voted in a red state. Two things to look forward to in coming years!
Massachusetts, or Cambridge to be more specific, couldn’t have made the voting process easier. I called the voting office directly to make sure I could vote via my Central Square address, where I am still registered. The lady was super nice and the federal voting website was equally easy to navigate. I got an absentee ballot by email and was given the choice to mail, fax, or email my response. It’s a little anti-climatic to email my ballot but it was so simple!
Massachusetts being Massachusetts, there were also ballot questions about euthanasia, medical marijuana, supporting health care reform, and withdrawing support from the military to redistribute funds to social services. None of the initiatives will change law but definitely gave me a lot to think about. While I support most typically liberal causes, euthanasia wasn’t something I could vote for without knowing more about what safeguards would be in effect to protect this vulnerable population. So one “no” vote in a sea of “yes”.
The best part was getting to vote for Elizabeth Warren for Senate. Much love to Obama and Biden of course, but Warren in office would mean so much to me and to MA. Warren, you’ve got my vote!
So now I am left with how to watch the returns here in South Africa. We are seven hours ahead of the East coast (it was six hours but now daylights savings bumped us another hour apart) so that means if polls close at 6pm, that’s 1am Joburg time. If west coast polls close at 6pm, that’s 4am.
I’m thinking the real counting will start 10pm-12midnight, or 5-7am. Not too horrible to be awake for. I would have loved to stay up at a bar but the pickings are slim. Instead, I’m inviting some friends over for breakfast (both American and South African) to share in the suspense and (hopefully) the celebration.
If it isn’t called by the time we have to leave for work, I might just have to call in sick!
Go Obama! Go Elizabeth Warren!