A few years ago friend went through a brief rocky period in her marriage. After weeks of sleepless nights with a young baby and feeling she was doing most of the childcare, income earning, and housework, she saw her husband in a harsher light.
“I mean, the man doesn’t even VOTE!” she lamented to me as she wondered aloud how she had ever come to marry him.
Every election day I think of her comment. How many couples caught up in the excitement of attraction and romance pause to find out whether their potential soul mate votes? Even if you discuss and debate politics, do you stop to ask point-blank?
For some folks it doesn’t matter. But I understood exactly what my friend meant. Voting is so central to her values and citizenship that she can’t imagine anyone not exercising this right. As she points out, people have fought for this most basic of democratic privileges, and Birmingham itself was a battleground for civil rights and the end of poll taxes. Is it not a disgrace to those efforts to decline to vote?
As weary as I sometimes grow of Alabama politics – especially during election season, when the ads become fodder for satire – I still cast a ballot. When possible, I take the kids with me just so they can observe the process and see that it’s my turn to be rewarded with a sticker.
And happily, my friend’s marriage quickly stabilized once her husband elected to take on his share of the housework.