Scalzi's Weekend Assignment asks us to... Recount the first time you voted in a local, state or national election. For this, primary voting counts, too. If you want to share who you voted for and whether they won, that's cool, but if you feel like you want to keep your political affiliation unstated, that's fine too.
Amazingly enough for someone who was involved in journalism in high school, and then student government in college, I was completely uninterested in voting in the "real world."
In 1996, I was probably in the less than 1% of the Penn State population that was too young to vote. Everyone around me was able to get out and vote and get their sticker, but I, wee lass of 17, wasn't eligible. I felt like I had been left behind by the rest of the country.
In 2000, I just didn't care. I had been an "adult" in the workforce for all of 6 months. My legal address was with my mom, a half-hour drive from the place I actually lived with my dad, and I didn't even have a car to get to the polls. Vote? How? I wasn't even registered!
(of course, when I got my Florida driver's license, I told the lady at the DMV that I wanted to register Democrat. Imagine my surprise when my Republican card arrived in the mail. gah!)
And then came those dark days following the 2000 election when I stared at the TV and kept thinking, "I've missed the ONE opportunity in my life where my vote would have actually counted."
The first time I voted was in the 2004 primaries. I couldn't tell you who I voted for. But the "I voted" sticker is still on the computer monitor. I also voted for "the guy who isn't George Bush" in the 2004 Presidential election. It seems my ability to pick the winners is pretty bad. John Edwards didn't get to be the Democratic candidate (although that was decided before our Primary). John Kerry didn't get to be president. And I'm pretty sure my picks for Water Board and School Board lost too. But it didn't matter. I said "this is a democracy - I have to take part." And I did. I stood in line at the fire station and I made my choices.
Extra Credit: Are you voting next Tuesday? Hell yes I'm voting! And this time, though I doubt my choice will become Governor, I'm content to be part of the people uniting against sending Katharine Harris to the U.S. Senate.