Election Day

by Marta Lee

Today is Election Day. Today, all of our choices congeal in our heads to make one decision: who will it be? Which name will you check on your ballot?

The line continues all the way out of the building and through the door. I am at the end, but soon I will be ahead of a few. This election is for ages five and up. Anyone who can read has a say.

As I wait in line, some still seem to be grappling with their choice, while several others have known who to vote for since birth. It all depends on our interpretations; they are key to the final decision.

I have still not decided on my vote, and as I wait in the line, I am intrigued by the various ponderings of those surrounding me.

One little girl is wearing a little skirt and looks like she just came from choir practice. She has a beautiful voice, I am thinking. Maybe I should vote for whoever she votes for, she's so cute"Where are you from? I ask her"She is from a little town a few miles away. How did you get here? I ask...She walked. What a beautiful sight. She walked two and a half miles just to vote; I'm sure some adults wouldn't even do that. She'll take good care of her vote.

And a woman, a few voters ahead of me, she knows whom she's voting for. Tears streaming down her cheeks, her little brother is very sick; she'll vote for Jesus, she believes, or at least wants to believe, that He can heal her brother. Maybe if He gets her vote He will. That's what the ads have been saying; Jesus is a miracle-worker.

The little girl; how could she know who to vote for? She looks like a choir-girl, but she walked all the way here"that takes an individual; one who does not just take the Bible as fact because others do. Maybe she just loves singing. Who will she pick?

Then a couple walks to the back of the line, but not the type of couple that completes one other. Two men, a couple, homosexuals, who can they trust? Should they vote for Jesus? It is because of the Bible that they feel alienated, though other interpretations of the Bible would have them being accepted. In their minds, they are trying to make this decision. Is there a candidate right for them? Is there anyone perfect for the job?

There's a little old Asian woman behind me; I've come to the door, I prop it open for her; she thanks me in Cantonese: "Doche" she says. I, fumbling for the proper response, resort to the simple American "You're welcome." (She appreciates it as if it were in her own language, though if she had replied in Cantonese to an average American, the American would have taken offense. Apparently English won the last election.)

Who will she vote for? My American roots lead me to believe she will vote for the Dalai Llama or whoever is the leader of the Buddhist religion, but I also have a sense that she too will vote for Jesus.

There's a spindly boy in front of me. His friend accidentally knocked his tooth out when he was little. Now he has a fake tooth that he wiggles with his tongue as he thinks. He will not vote for Jesus; he will vote for God. He does not believe in Jesus, but he finds the Bible to be a very interesting piece of fiction.

Now I begin thinking, this whole election is bogus; how can I choose one? Just one? Or, is even one right? Are they all wrong?

Maybe there's a way I can get out of voting"No, if I don't vote, I'll feel unrepresented. Maybe I can check "Other" or do some kind of "Write-In."

I'm getting closer to the voting booths. What if this voting, as "divine" as it is, is actually corrupt? What if all these people are fighting themselves in vain? What if the leader is already chosen in the minds of our controllers, the government?

Why must everything be an election? Why must one religion or deity be "the" religion or deity?

Who will all the Atheists vote for? And the Agnostics? Well it seems now that many of the Christians, Buddhists, Jews, and others feel a little Agnostic too. They are suddenly unsure of the very grounds of their lives. Is every group equally represented?

Some of the candidates have been running a dirty race. Jesus, the most popular candidate, has been running ads, saying if you don't vote for him, you will go to Hell. With this in the back of voters' minds, how can they go against him?

It takes a strong individual to stand up for themselves against oppressive leaders.

The line keeps getting longer and longer, now it goes around the entire world. This may be the only time in history that the whole world has gathered together like this; and ironically, the cause for the gathering is to divide up against one another: each member of the world's population standing behind their own candidate.

I'm getting closer and closer now"My mind is starting to break down: too...much"pressure. How can a body stand it? Jesus"Muslim leader". Buddhist leader".God? Who?

My turn; here it goes. Well, I obviously don't want to go to Hell, but is there really any record that it exists? There couldn't be; dead people stay dead, and we can't communicate with them. If we could, this election would be unnecessary.

I'm in the booth"reconsidering the choices. And suddenly I have a revelation: I know what to do, how to get out of this mess that the whole world is in. I eagerly make the required markings, and my vote has been placed.

I glance at my vote one last time and am overcome by a feeling of nirvana. In the write-in area, I scribbled "myself."

If everyone does this, then religion will have no control over us: all the myself's in society. The little choir-girl, the gay couple, the woman with a dying brother, and the sweet Chinese lady"and me a half-Chinese teenage girl, an artist and writer, very tempted by Individualism. If we all vote for "myself", religion can remain what it is and always has been: an individual decision.

With my vote placed, I walk out along the line, studying each individual face and hoping they will make their decision, their way. As I get into my car, I feel like I've beaten the system, I've won the game, but really, everything remains the same as it was before, nothing changed at all, after all that effort"

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