My mother never understood people who said their voice didn’t matter. She always chose, no matter what the circumstances. Since she didn’t drive and we lived in the suburbs, she took a bus to her polling station because it was too far to walk. And because she took me with her, I found out how important it is to her.
From a young age I associated votes with a treat, like the ice cream mom who would buy me after the vote. I hadn’t yet learned that the real treat was the privilege of voting.
She rarely spoke about political parties. Her focus was on the candidates and the issues. In her later years, my husband and I went to her nursing home and filled out the ballots together. It became her favorite social event. We discussed the topics and proposals as well as the positions of the candidates with Mama. This often sparked lively discussions.
The tradition of treats continued until her last election at the age of 100. We always came to what she called her election party with some chocolate.
My mother loved voting at the polls. However, she eventually had to opt for a postal vote. Moving into a retirement home in California in her late 80s, she was thrilled to find out the local polling station was on-site, so she volunteered in the elections into her late 80s… happily putting in a nine-hour day .
When her eyesight began to fail, Mom would sometimes ask me to show her the box she wanted to check. As she sat in her wheelchair and voted with a shaking hand, I was struck by her commitment to voting.
Even as the physical act of marking her ballot became a challenge, the young mother who bused her daughter to the polls all those years ago maintained her commitment to the voting process until she died at the age of 101.
I hope you will join me in honoring my mother’s memory by voting in the midterm elections on Tuesday, November 8th. And don’t forget to treat yourself to some chocolate after voting. Mom would insist.
https://www.ocregister.com/2022/11/05/remembering-a-mothers-lifelong-commitment-to-voting-and-chocolate/ Commemorating a mother’s lifelong dedication to the voting — and chocolate — Orange County Register