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Election Day!

Can you believe that Election Day is finally here?!

Finally…after at least two years of stumping and political ads, we’re finally able to add our voices to the mix.

Election Day is very special for me.  I think I’ve mentioned that I am a naturalized citizen.  I was born in Canada and watched my friends get their voters registrations…all without me.

When my husband’s job took us to Miami, I learned that there was an Immigration office nearby.  I sent in my paperwork and waited for almost a year to hear back.  I received my appointment in the mail, and trust me, when you get the appointment, you don’t reschedule.  I remember that it was in the middle of the summer, and Mr. AuburnChick could not go with me.  I carefully made my way to downtown Miami, two children in tow.  I made it through my interview and answered a few basic questions about the government that included, “How many senators are there?”

The questions were easy enough that I passed, even though my Civics teacher in high school was the football coach…small school and all…

However, my paperwork was not quite in order.  I had to have passport-sized photos retaken, so I took the kids and walked all over the place, in the middle of the day with two children who desperately needed naps, and finally, finally, found a place that charged an exorbitant amount of money.  Don’t you know that at that point, I would have given my entire month’s worth of grocery money to get those stupid pictures done.

With that out of the way, I returned home to await the date of my swearing in ceremony.

What a fabulous experience!  I sat in the middle of several hundred Soon-To-Be-Americans, and when it was time, we stood and pledged the oath of alliance to our new home country.  Even though I had lived in the U.S. all of my life, I felt “official.”  I received a Certificate of Naturalization, and it is precious to me.

After the ceremony, my family headed over to South Beach for the day.  We ate at the Clevlender, a well-known establishment, and watched the people walking by.  South Beach is a very interesting place…let me tell you!  What an eye-opener for a small-town gal like me!

I remember the first time I ever voted.  It was a local election, but I was nervous.  As I walked in, I babbled.  The elderly folks were excited to help me out, and they made a big to-do over my children (who, as always, went everywhere with me).  I proudly wore my “I Voted” sticker the rest of the day.

Because I was sworn in during 1997, so I had to wait three years to vote in my first presidential election.  At the time, I lived in Broward County, which became famous as one of the hanging chads areas.  I remember being confused while voting that day.  The names did not match up with the holes you had to punch.  Oh well, I got to vote for President.  THAT meant so much to me.

Florida is one of the states that has early voting; however, I chose not to take advantage of this.  I felt like it would be a little like celebrating Christmas early.  So, I’ll be heading over after work (thank goodness I get out at 2:30) and take my turn exercising my right as an American.

We are so lucky to live in a country that allows us to have a say in who’s representing us in Congress and the “big” House.  So many people around the world do not have this privilege.

I hope all of you have taken the time, or will make the time, to go out an cast your ballot today.

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