Friday, October 24, 2008

Voting where my vote doesn't "count"

I've lived in South Carolina since 1990. The first election I participated in was in 1992, which began my long history of voting for Democratic presidential candidates. This won't change on November 4th when I will proudly vote for Barack Obama.

I've voted for Republican candidates on the state level, often because there isn't much choice. I voted for Mark Sanford a couple of times for Congress, as well as for Governor. I always admired his true fiscal conservatism -- sleeping in his office during his three terms in Congress, instead of renting an expensive home in Washington or one of its pricey suburbs. He routinely voted against his party's wishes, especially then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Perhaps this is why I continued to vote for him. As a governor, he has done some odd things that have irritated many Republican lawmakers and alienated him from members of both parties.

I voted for Strom Thurmond in 1996, probably because I was flush with good feelings about my fellow Clemson alum.

But I am acutely aware that on a national electoral level, my votes for Clinton (2x), Gore, Kerry and now Obama really don't count here in South Carolina. It's a strange feeling lining up to vote with people who are on the opposite end of the political spectrum than I am. Not that I want to get rid of the electoral college system, it just is odd living where you don't feel adequately represented.

That said, I will be there with bells on November 4th.

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