05 November 2008

Revival

Yesterday’s election results have revived this blog. I haven’t felt this inspired to write for months! Here’s something I wrote yesterday morning before the drama of counting the votes had begun. More soon.

I am an expat and have lived in the Netherlands for almost the entire Bush administration. I voted early in this election, carefully following the procedures set by my home state of Minnesota. Now, I can only hope my ballot is in good hands.

You'd think that abroad it's easy to forget about voting. But for the past month, international friends and acquaintances have furrowed their brows and asked for confirmation that I was able to vote. Some, not knowing about the absentee system, offered to sponsor my trip home to cast a ballot. After hearing my distinctive accent, even strangers on the train have questioned me: Did you vote yet?

After a couple dozen of these conversations, my assurances are down pat. I quickly explain the system and leave everyone looking slightly relaxed. But for those that aren’t sure of my political allegiances (and my closet full of Barack gear), a new, more distraught expression flits across their face, and I see them holding back. I know what this is about. I smile and assure them my vote was for Obama. They sigh with relief and repeat their support.

There is not another election like this one on the planet. Today, U.S. citizens are voting for the whole world.

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