by Mayor Simison

Everyone has their favorite annual traditions. When asked what they look forward to most, many would tell you Thanksgiving, Christmas, or another holiday surrounded by big festivities and friends. While I enjoy family holidays, one of my favorite annual traditions happens tomorrow! That’s right, the first Tuesday in November, Election Day. 

For me, I am a purist and love to vote on Election Day – despite City Hall being an early voting location. I enjoy voting first thing in the morning and make it a priority to be one of the first people to vote at my local precinct no matter the election. When I am lucky enough to be the first voter at the poll, I have the opportunity to view the empty ballot boxes, watch them be sealed and then attest as such. I take pride and consider it my little extra help to my local poll workers who are dedicated to helping ensure our elections run smoothly. 

What makes tomorrow even more special and a family event is that my oldest son will be casting his first vote. While I’m not sure I will get him up to go early with me and perhaps have the chance to instill this as a new “family tradition”, I am just excited that he took the actions himself to get registered, get educated, and has a plan to vote. 

Each election, be it local or Presidential, we have an opportunity to vote, and by doing so participate in one of our most fundamental rights as Americans. While it may be easier than ever to express our opinions with social media, no number of posts, comments, or videos will replace an act as simple as filling in bubbles on a voting ballot. Ada County Elections has put in a lot of work to make voting in our county seamless, safe, and secure. It’s up to us to put in some work before we get to the polls. I encourage each voter to view their ballot in advance, and do your own research on candidates, initiatives and constitutional amendments. There is nothing more powerful than a well educated voter.  

Polling locations are determined by your address. If you’re unsure of where to vote in person, you can find your polling location HERE. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time, and be conscientious of those around you. COVID-19 is back on the rise in our community and I urge you to take that into account as we gather to exercise our right to vote. Please continue to mask up, wash your hands, and give space to fellow voters.  For those who may have opted to vote absentee, we have a Ballot Drop Box here at City Hall if you still need to get it turned in. 

This right to cast our ballots is one that didn’t come easy to many. I want to take a moment to recognize the men and women that have fought hard for us to live in a free country where our voices do matter. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the right for women to vote in this country – something to be celebrated. This important historical achievement is commemorated on this year’s “I Voted” sticker.  

Over the last few weeks I was thrilled to see so many voters exercise their right to vote as City Hall served as an early voting location. I have done my due diligence of researching the candidates and issues to be an informed voter and tomorrow I will cast my ballot. I hope those that haven’t yet voted will join me in getting to the polls. Tonight, I will go to bed with visions of ballots dancing in my head and being the first in line. 

 

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