This was my third election that I've had the privelege to participate in. I am 28, so the first election I voted in was Bush v. Kerry. You know, the infamous "hanging chad" election. Except I wasn't in Florida at the time-- I was living in the dorms at Moody as a junior. (Edit: Bestie Jr.'s husband reminded me that was the election BEFORE Bush v. Kerry. Oops. They all run together, apparently.)
I had an absentee ballot from my hometown of Midlothian, Illinois. I was voting for Bush (not that it mattered in Illinois anyway), and super excited to vote for the first time. I filled out everything on my ballot, put it in the "privacy sleeve" (what a joke) and envelope, signed and dated it, and put it in my bag to mail.
In my whole life, I've only really had two things stolen from me: once, I left my small white purse in the band room in high school. My Christian high school. It was gone and I lost my favorite lip gloss and eye shadow. Waaaaah. And then I had my bag stolen from outside the SDR (student dining room) at Moody. The day I had my ballot inside.
Yeah... it just so happens that that was the beginning of a string of thefts at Moody, all from kids that Moody students would bring in from Cabrini Green (read: ghetto). The video surveillance showed a little kid stealing my bag from among dozens. Maybe she liked the pattern? Who knows.
All I know is I lost my dog-eared and marked-up copy of Jane Eyre, my class notes, my new cell phone (my first cell phone), my R.A. binder (later returned by a man who called himself "Prince Ali Ababua."),.... and my ballot.
I didn't really know what to do about that. I was pretty sure this theif wasn't going to mail my ballot for me. So on election day, I went down to the local voting location and voted in person.
Later I found out it didn't count. :(
Good thing it all turned out in the end... but man, what a bummer on your first election! Since then, I vote by mail and turn it in just a couple days before the actual election. Way less stressful, and I don't even have to pay for stamps.
And we all know we have to guard our stamp money, what with the economy taking a nosedive and all.... ;)