UNITED STATES—So perhaps the most important question to be asked this week is rather you went to the polls and voted? Wait, let me take that back, you better had voted. Some parts of the region didn’t have the best weather, it may have rained at a few spots, perhaps a bit chilly in others, but you still should have hit the polls.

With that being said, I didn’t want to procrastinate with the notion of heading to the polls so I ensured I got up a bit earlier than normal today to be at the polls before the big rush. Did I get to the polls at 7 a.m., not quite, but 9:30 a.m. isn’t a bad time either.

The first thing that kept returning to my mind was the fact that I know its going to be a packed house when I get there, while it was no presidential election this year, there are still plenty of key races and government bodies fighting for top billing right? Wrong. I walked right into my polling station without having to wait a second in line.

“Yes,” I screamed in my head. The pollsters were a bit overly chatty discussing something that I found little relevance to. It wasn’t that I was being rude, but the over-the-top laughter and mumbling of the conversation made it that more difficult to grasp the concept of the conversation.

Of course, my ID was a prerequisite and I had to fill out the small form with my personal information. I started to worry as it seemed once again they were unable to find my name in the system. The pollster asked, “Is this your first time voting honey.” I know I have a baby face, but I feel like people look at me and think I’m still in my 20s which is a huge compliment, but I’ve been voting since I was 18. Yeah, I don’t believe in only voting when the presidency is at stake.

So many people fail to realize that the President has little control over things on the local level, voting for mayor, governor, judges, city council, school board, senate and so many other races are just as important if you ask me. So after a few moments past I get my ballot and start casting my vote. The one thing and forgive me for sounding a bit unprepared is not knowing some of the candidates who might be running for certain positions.

Before you ask I did take a look at my ballot a few days before Election Day and I did indeed do some research on the candidates before heading to the polls, but there is only so much you can learn from candidates who choose to or choose not to advertise. Trust me we’ll talk all about that in another column. So as I’m filling out my ballot I had a clear inkling of the candidates I was rooting for and those candidates that I wasn’t to privy of.

Of course towards the end of it all you find yourself looking at those proposals or ballot initiatives that some people know little to nothing about. I mean tell me, precisely what in the world is that all about? How do some people get some of the stupidest things on a ballot? Even more baffling is why American citizens are forced to have to examine such a waste as I’d like to call it of taxpayer’s time and money.

I’d say in about five minutes top I completed my ballot, inserted it into the ballot counting machine and was on my way. Of course, I received the notorious “I Voted” sticker. I must say I wore that sticker proudly for the entire day. Maybe as a reminder to the rest of those who can vote, not to allow this vote to slip by! Remember voting is not just a right, it’s a civic duty.

It’s something you should do not only because you need to have your voice heard, but you need to vote for those who fought so valiantly to have this right bestowed upon us. There was indeed a time where the right to vote was not always readily available to all races or genders.