So I'm standing at the voter sign-in table this morning at 7:15 a.m. when an acquaintance of mine comes in right behind me. He went to my alma mater, Wheaton College, and we've known him and his family on friendly terms for years here in Salt Lake. We used to go to the same church. He is a conservative Republican, politically active, and though we have rarely if ever discussed politics I think he's pretty darn committed to Republican ideals.
So in our state, if you're unaffiliated (as I am) the voter-sign-in dude has to ask you which ticket you want to vote on. So I answered "Democrat" right in front of my die-hard Republican acquaintance. It's not exactly an invasion of privacy, but it did make me uncomfortable. I am pretty moderate actually and have voted about equally Republican and Democrat in the past, but in the past few elections I've been swinging more to the Democratic side. These days, the war and the environment are on my mind as I approach the candidates. Every election year is different.
Oh well - in the grand scheme of things, I am extremely grateful that elections here are so calm and well-tempered, especially in light of what's happening in Kenya and what happens in a lot of the world around election time. I don't think our friendship with this guy and his family will change much because he knows I voted on the Democratic ticket - but all the same, I think the party affiliation rules in this state are kind of silly and annoying. Why can't we just cast a vote for whichever candidate we prefer, regardless of party?