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A feeling of missing out

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I feel like somebody gave a big party and I didn’t get invited.

Even though I’m almost surrounded by the town of Wake Forest, I’m not inside the town limits and can’t vote in municipal elections. There were no county races or bond issues I needed to weigh in on this year, so I had to sit out election day. It felt weird.

Even though it sometimes seems like an exercise in futility, I vote every chance I get. I figure that if I vote, I am entitled to complain about things I don’t like, but if I don’t vote, I must accept what comes my way.

The best I can remember, I have only missed one opportunity to vote since I was able to register at age 21. At one time, you could buy alcohol at 18, but couldn’t vote until 21. At some point, it got reversed and now 18-year-olds can vote but cannot legally drink until 21. That still seems strange to me since those 18-year-olds who vote can also marry, serve in the armed forces, buy guns in most states, be tried as adults and a lot of other things, but cannot buy a beer.

But that’s another soap box. This one is a message to all you lucky people who got to choose our new community leaders who will determine the direction we grow (and probably grow and grow and grow) in the next few years. I hope you chose well. If you didn’t exercise your right to vote, then shame on you.

I remember being very excited to finally be registered to vote in 1960 and looked forward to going to the polls and casting my vote for John F. Kennedy. It didn’t happen. I got busy having a baby and didn’t get to the polls. It was small comfort that he didn’t really need my vote; I wanted to cast it anyway.

I don’t remember ever failing to vote in another election and hope I won’t miss any in the future. It’s a very small voice, but it’s the only one I have.

Jean McCamy is a Wake Forest artist.


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