I didn't write about this when it happened. Seemed like a non-event at the time, but I was just discussing it with a new reader and so I thought I'd share the experience here now.
Jehovah's Witnesses don't vote. They believe strongly in the separation of Church and State. And since their allegiance is to God's government, they will not divert that loyalty to any "worldy" institution through voting. So, my whole adult life I'd never voted. Until this past Fall.
I decided at the last minute to vote. I hadn't followed much of the political happenings because frankly, politics doesn't interest me. But I knew enough about the candidates to make a choice and I figured I would vote, because I could.
I had previously received my voting notice but had chucked it into the garbage, figuring I wouldn't be using it. So when election night rolled around, I had no idea where I was supposed to go. I toured my neighbourhood in the pouring rain, stopped at three different polling stations before I found the one I was assigned to.
I, full of smiles and sunshine, walked up to the surly volunteer declaring that I was there to vote. And then I added, "And it's my first time. Can you show me what I have to do?"
He scowls, "You've never voted before?" I could see his face wrinkle up in judgment.
"Nope. It's a long story," I replied. Didn't think my lifelong journey through a cult was appropriate small talk for this venue.
He showed me the card, told me there were boxes enclosed to check off, gave me a pencil and shuffled me off to a polling booth.
The process took me all of 10 seconds. I put my card in the box and drifted back out into the rainy night. Another "been there, done that" added to the list.