I love election day

Some election days my candidates and issues haven’t prevailed and some they have, but I always love election day.

It is our secular democratic holiday.

I see all sorts of people at the polling place. These are my neighbors.

I get a thrill seeing people walk in, although I have to say I liked it better when I voted right in my neighborhood, epecially at a school. The kids got to see the voting booths and I could walk right over. Now I vote in the Bangor Civic Center and it doesn’t quite feel the same way.

When there are candidates and public officials there, I shake their hands. I wish all the candidates “Good Luck.” With all their work to try to make the world better, according to their values, they should be commended.

I love getting my “I Voted” sticker. Today they didn’t have them in Bangor and I was told that the Maine Secretary of State cut the funding.  Luckily they still had them at UMaine when I stopped by its polling place and asked for one.

I grew up in a time when the fight for the right to vote felt very real. I learned about Freedom Summer and the people who died to get African-Americans the right to vote. That struggle meshed with the values I learned in my synagogue, that we must pursue justice for all.

I’m sure all ths prompted me to become a political scientist. On my application to PhD programs, I wrote that I wanted to study political participation and democratic theory — basically how active citizens contribute to democracy. 

Yes, I love election day.

Amy Fried

About Amy Fried

Amy Fried loves Maine's sense of community and the wonderful mix of culture and outdoor recreation. She loves politics in three ways: as an analytical political scientist, a devoted political junkie and a citizen who believes politics matters for people's lives. Fried is Professor of Political Science at the University of Maine. Her views do not reflect those of her employer or any group to which she belongs.