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Monday, November 05, 2012

Election eve in the U.S.

This will be my first U.S. presidential election away from the country. I voted in my home state of Washington via absentee ballot a few weeks back. In general, states facilitate voting by those outside of the country by a number of methods. I had the option of a paper ballot or electronic one. I could submit my ballot via regular mail or by email (I simply needed to print and scan my completed ballot). I was surprised that I was able to vote a full ticket in my home state - just the way I would have had I been living where I lived before I immigrated.

The challenge for me as an absentee voter is that I did not receive a voter's pamphlet. This is a guide to the candidates and issues prepared by the state. So I had a long conversation with my brother about the ballot issues and candidates. We don't agree on everything, and in retrospect I feel like maybe the right thing to do in the future is vote with him on local issues. He's the one impacted by the results, not me. If he believes he shouldn't support a particular property tax, well - I feel like I should support that. On matters that do impact me directly, such as candidates for State and Federal election - I'll vote my own way on those things.

As a typical, independent Washington State voter, I supported candidates from both major parties and a handful of independents too.

Our own poll here at The Expatriate Mind shows Obama leading. But in the U.S. it's much closer, and democratic friends of mine are quite nervous. I guess we'll know in less than two days just where the American public's support is as a nation struggles with the ghost of its past and the vision of its future.

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