Do you believe in voting sanctity?
I am an American, too. I care about America.
I have worked for both parties. I have been a Republican and I have been a Democrat. I care more about America than I ever cared for either party. We vote. That’s how we do it here.
I resent being intimidated politically and I take voting seriously. Let me tell you a true story.
Eight years ago, in 2004, I was doing phoning and other volunteer tasks for the Yuma Democratic Party. I have done it for Republicans in the past, too. I was raised to be interested in politics. Also in 2004, I was caring for a father whose mind, at 90, was slowly failing him due to dementia. It was my duty to help my father by filling out what turned out to be his last ballot for the presidency of the United States. I guess I knew that at the time. He cared a lot about the Republican Party and had held elective office as a Republican for eight years in the 1980s and early 1990s.
The year 2004 was a year when I did not favor the incumbent Republican administration and I was actively working to unseat them. I felt terrible when I, myself, had to mark his mail-in ballot for him, exactly the opposite way than I had already marked my own.
It was tempting. I could have marked it my way. I had the power to do it. Nobody would know and I could double the power of my own ballot. But I didn’t do it. I marked every single choice exactly as my Dad said. I hated doing it. I felt like I was going to be sick. But I did not fail him. I did not betray him or America.
I am an American. We vote and then we count the votes and that’s what I believe is the best political system on earth. I believe in it even if it means I know my side is going to lose. I would rather lose the election than lose my country.
I was so repulsed by the experience that I actually carried my Dad’s mail-in ballot in my purse for two more days and just played with the idea of "forgetting" to mail it. But I always knew in my heart that I would mark his ballot just the way he wanted it and I would mail it in plenty of time for it to be counted. I am an American.
I am asking my conservative friends and neighbors to ask themselves a few simple questions. Do you share my picture of what it is to be an American? Specifically, if your own elderly parent wanted to vote for Barack Obama, would you believe in America enough to faithfully fill out their ballot and mail it in or would you not?
Do you believe in the American political system of government that much? Would you mark the ballot the correct way or would you subvert the political system by marking your own choices, or simply "lose" the ballot? I told you what I did; what you would do?
In the end, we all have to live together when the election is over. Let’s respect each other and America.
Sally Woodard Sheridan