Don't make me get on my soapbox

I’m one of those people who carry a portable soap box in my back pocket in case one of three topics of conversation comes up and I need to climb up on it. There are several topics I will overlook and not say a thing about, but there are one or two things that always get a rise out of me.

The first I won’t mention because we all have to have our secrets.

The second is my beloved Bulldogs of Fresno State. Never, ever bad mouth my school or I will be forced to throw information about outstanding alumni and almost-alumni all over ya.

The third topic I will mention because it’s too important not to: voting. This Tuesday, is the mail-in deadline for Bremerton residents to narrow down the candidate lists for the Bremerton City Council and the Bremerton School Board.

These primaries are too important to ignore. They will be deciding the future of the city of Bremerton, education in Bremerton and whether or not the emergency medical services of Bremerton will be continued through the Bremerton Fire Department. Those are some pretty heavy issues and everyone who has a say should use it.

I’m a big advocate of voting. I always have been.

In fact, I’ve been an avid voter since 1990, the year I turned 18. Yeah, do the math ... I’m 31. I’ve prided myself on voting in every election, primaries and otherwise, whether it was by absentee ballot or otherwise.

Well, I’ve missed a few here and there, two in particular, but I had really good excuses. One of which was in 1996 in Camden County, Georgia. I was headed to the polling place with about 30 minutes to spare before the polls closed.

I was attempting to turn left into my polling place and had my blinker on when a teenager (no offense against teenagers) who was driving behind me was paying more attention to her cell phone than my stopped Geo Metro.

Smack! My back bumper fell off. She did about $1,000 damage to her mommy’s car. I didn’t realize until right then how sturdy my little roller skate of a car was. Good Geo.

After waiting for the police and getting through all the paper work, the polls closed before I had a chance to vote. Funny thing was, the girl never got off her cell phone. She immediately hung up with her friend and called her mom to tell her she got in a car accident but it wasn’t her fault.

“That voting thing has me all messed up,” she told her sympathetic mother who lost her sympathy as soon as she found out the skinny on the accident.

I also missed a rather important election while living in Berkeley County, South Carolina in 2000. This was the big one: the presidential election.

It seemed Trident Regional Medical Facility had this rule about women not leaving the maternity ward to go vote.

What a dumb rule.

The day after, I remember watching NBC from my recovery room. I saw the “Indecision 2000” logo in the bottom of the screen — usually reserved for Comedy Central — and thought my mind (or the drugs) were playing a trick on me. I called the nurse to tell her I was hallucinating and why I thought so.

Turns out, it was Florida that was hallucinating.

This time around, I’m still waiting for my absentee ballot to appear in the mail. As soon as I find the time to register to vote here in Kitsap County, barring any unforseen circumstance, you will find me at a polling place near you.

As it should be.

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