10.24.2008

My Civil Duty



Today I jumped in a taxi, with two other women, in the direction of the United States Embassy. This is the first US Embassy that I have ever needed to visit. The reason for my visit is I have not received my absentee ballot, in the mail, and time is quickly passing. I found out yesterday, from another Missionary, that you can vote using a write-in ballot and the Embassy will mail it for you. So we arrived to the Embassy about 8:30 a.m. and there were close to 500 Hispanics waiting, in line, to go inside. At that moment we all knew that this process was not going to be a quick one. However, we asked the guard how to get in and he brought us past all those people and walked us into the door. I felt like a jerk American at that point. But all those people were waiting in line for visas to the United States so we would have been there all day. As we go inside the door we go through security and never once did anyone ask to see our passports. After we passed through the metal detectors we collected our purses and such and Leslie had a water bottle. The guard told her to drink it. We assumed he meant the whole thing and throw it away like at airports. He meant just take a sip. I am assuming it was to check for poison or drugs. After she took a sip he said it was fine and she could bring it with her. We then had to find the section for United States citizens and wait some more. When we were called we were given a packet and we filled it out, cast our vote, sealed the envelope and gave it back to the worker. That was it. My vote was cast on American soil in a foreign country. It was weird. It was especially weird actually writing out President and who you felt would be best fit for that job. It made it much more personal than just pressing a button or touching a screen.