By NICK CHILES
I appreciate the effort this nation has made in recent years to encourage more citizens to vote by creating early voting. In my former home state of New Jersey, they’re even allowing people displaced by Superstorm Sandy to vote by email and fax on Tuesday. That’s truly democracy in action, and I am proud of my former home for attempting to live up to this country’s lofty ideals.
It’s certainly welcome news after more than a year of reports that Republican-controlled legislatures across the country have been hard at work trying to restrict voting access—something I thought was a relic of another era and that I’d never see in my lifetime.
But while early voting is convenient and important, there is just something special about standing in the line on election day with my fellow Americans, stepping behind that curtain and exercising my American right—and duty—to participate in the political process. Even before 2008, I’d walk out feeling like I just did something special, meaningful, important. The times I have done early voting for local elections, I just didn’t get the same emotional wallop.
That’s why I have purposely waited until election day to cast my vote in the presidential election. Though we’ve had four years with Barack Obama as our president, I feel just as excited and anxious about this election as I did in 2008. I’m only 47, but I’m still astounded that the phenomenon of Barack Hussein Obama occurred in my lifetime. Despite its many flaws, this is still a wondrous country.
JET magazine perfectly summed up the monumental impact of Barack Obama with its gorgeous cover that came out today, with the headline “I Am Legend.” Yes, he is indeed. He will go down as one of the most legendary human beings in this nation’s history. And we still have a chance to add to that legend tomorrow, beginning at 7 a.m. in most states.
So if you haven’t done early voting, perhaps like me waiting for the excitement of election day, let’s get out there tomorrow and close the deal.
Four more years.