The Cassia Life

Special Power in Senior Vote

One person, one vote. It’s the way we conduct elections here in the USA, and perhaps the way it should be everywhere. One vote per person probably comes as close as a system can in delivering equal impact per person.

But equal is and equal isn’t when it comes to individual’s ability to vote. Life experience, education, and differing preparation by voters about the issues and candidates varies widely.

And it’s my contention that seniors have extra “power” when stepping into the voting booth, because of the knowledge, the experience, and the wisdom that go into their decision-making process. Marked ballots may look the same, but the accumulated voting “skill” contained invisibly in the senior vote is automatically more potent.

I call it seniors’ “wisdom of the ages,” meaning the greater number of years we’ve had to accumulate knowledge in a greater number of elections, more candidates and issues to study before and after an election.

You vote with your sharp brain, not with that sharp little pencil.

Here in Minnesota, on primary election day, Tuesday, August 11, I found myself walking five blocks to a new voting place, Bethlehem Baptist Church which is sufficient for the general presidential election coming November 3. There were at least a dozen voting booths and nearly as many helpful clerks. I did my duty and was soon out the exit door. 

“Why do you think we have so many homeless people around here,” asked a well-dressed man standing beside a fancy sports car in the church’s big parking lot. We talked, including about his own U.S. education in chemical engineering. At the end of our visit he offered me a ride back to Augustana where I live. 

Bidding goodbye to my new friend, I felt a desire to continue my political exploration. After all, I’d just opened my own involvement in the national political season that would last almost three months. On November 3 the national presidential election would take place and I would return to the big Baptist church to vote again. New issues this election season are unique in number and nature: The Covid-19 pandemic, racism, the national economy, minority rights, etc., The Democratic convention is just three days away as I write.

Perhaps non-political, the taking of The National Census was moving right along, major league baseball is under way what with only 60 games regular season to be played, instead of 162 usually.  

Since moving to Augustana four years ago I’d observed close up and from a distance Elliot Park’s beautiful and colorful full-sized soccer field. Its surface is artificial turf. Today I decided to find out a few facts about it, political if any, and otherwise. 

Initially I walked across it, from one side to the other, a distance of 40 to 50 yards.  At first the surf seemed surprisingly springy, forgiving, I felt a bit off-balance. Later in the walk, that disappeared and I felt stable.  

Then I telephoned the Minneapolis Park Service Planning Division and learned that the turf itself, landscaping, drainage, and all related work was accomplished in 2014 and 2015 at a total cost of $490,000. Nearly all of the cost was met by private contributions.

Politics finds many factors.

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