Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Inside The Gray Box

I remember February 5th like it was yesterday.

It was an average winter day, both cold and long. 

When I came home from school, I dropped my worn out book bag on the couch adjacent to my bedroom door

Soon, my mother, who was watching Univision while gossiping on the phone, yelled, “Chris, Como Te Fue?” “Good,” I responded.

But then I realized there was something I had to do.

So even before eating or drinking anything, I went down the steps of my house, headed up the hill where my house lies, and marched two blocks eastward.

I reached my assigned place quickly: It was Saint Frances De Chantal, the local church. At the door, I was greeted by an elderly white woman who smiled almost as if she was proud of me. She directed me towards a table with a serious-looking, middle-aged white woman.

At the table, I was asked for my name and for ID. She flipped threw the Cs in her large binder until she arrived at Cabral. I then signed my name, walked inside the gray box, which strangely reminded me of a porta-potty, and pulled the curtain behind me.

After making my choices, I pushed the lever of the outdated polling machine to the left and went home feeling empowered.

I did something for our deteriorating democracy: I voted.

Yet my mother couldn’t vote because she wasn’t registered with the local polling place. I, therefore, got her an application from the postal office, so that she can vote in November. Recently, she received a letter saying that she is registered to vote where I did.

Undoubtedly, the failures of our government are largely due to the culture of political indifference—an attitude that it doesn’t matter if we vote or how we vote.

I’m working to reverse that trend.

1 comment:

KiNeTiC said...

Your pattern of going against the grain, and reversing the proverbial tendency of "voting doesn't matter," is something worth noting and acknowledging. It is definitely one of your most admirable qualities as a human being and you should be extremely proud of yourself.