Proud to be part of process

Published 2:29 am Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I sure was proud of that “I voted” sticker they gave at the polls Tuesday.

I was even prouder of the feeling I got knowing that my vote – my one, lone vote – would matter in determining the outcome of our government not only on a local and state level but also in the national scheme.

Politics were not commonplace in the LeMaire household. I can’t remember my parents sitting around discussing the state of the economy or why Reagan decided to do this or that. They were more concerned about the state of the cattle market or how to put food on the table for my brother and me – which, I guess, was in its own way discussion about the economy.

I know that now because I understand a little about politics. And from what I do get, I can tell you that I like it. I like it a lot.

Now, I won’t even pretend that I know enough about the process to discuss it intelligently, but I know people and it’s the people in politics that has me very interested.

I have always loved to people watch. You know…you go to the mall, park yourself on a bench near the food court and just eye the people as the stroll by. I like to sit and wonder why on earth that woman would wear those ugly shoes or how in the world did that man ever convince that woman to ever hang on his arm….stuff like that.

Being an avid people watcher has also taught me how to pick up on the cues that other people give. How a person leans a little closer to the person they are talking to when he or she has feelings towards their conversation partner or that one can tell a lot by the way a person feels by the way they hold their chin….clues like that are valuable tools when one deals with people like I do.

It is so fascinating, and I think it’s the really the reason why I like politics so much – on a local level, mind you, since I’ve never actually met any national candidates face to face, but I think you get my point.

The last few months on the local campaign trail have been a very interesting experience. We’ve seen a county commission chairman lose and another one named, as well as district commissioners. The people have named their choices for the 2nd Congressional District seat, for the Court of Criminal Appeals, for Public Service Commission and even for U.S. president and vice president.

I’ve seen a race for the county sheriff, and one for school board representative.

Now, I can now say I’ve seen every race in the county but the one for district attorney.

Over the last several weeks, I have reported on the record number of people who have taken measures to ensure their right to vote by registering with the local Board of Registrars Office. We had more than 1,000 people cast their absentee ballots since they were unable to make it to polls Tuesday. We had more than 23,000 people in Covington County take the initiative to make the first step in the voting process.

Now on Tuesday I am also proud to see that others like me have taken upon themselves to uphold their civic responsibility to cast their vote.

I’m proud to say, “I voted.”

Are you?