It's literally been years since I have cast a general election ballot on election day itself, but it looks that is what will happen this year. I was living in Arizona in 2008 and 2012, a state where I was able to cast my ballot weeks before the election - by mail, no less. I remember voting by absentee ballot at the McDonald County courthouse in Pineville in 2004, probably more as a matter of convenience than anything else - and elections before that are lost in a fog bank of hazy memories.
Being sixty-eight-years-old, I was sorely tempted to vote absentee this year - as a countermeasure against my possible demise in the days before the election. I would hate to think that I got this close and failed to cast a vote against Trump, the racist sex pig. I even pulled down an application to vote absentee off of the internet, but never got around to filling it out.
This year I know who I am against, that isn't an issue. The question still looms, however, as to whom I am for? Sadly, both of the major party candidates are seriously flawed. Yesterday, just as the most immediate example, the Trump "hot mic" tapes were released by the Washington Post and minutes later Wikileaks coughed up emails from Hillary's campaign manager that offered a look at some less-than-positive remarks from her paid speeches to Wall Street. While Donald Trump remains a total anathema to human decency, Hillary has trouble elevating herself above the level of common grifter.
Senator Kelly Ayotte may have hit the nail on the head as she struggled to regain her political footing after declaring Donald Trump was "absolutely" a role model for children. Ayotte came back with a statement that she had "mispoken" and that not only was she not perfect, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton were neither one acceptable role models.
I have a friend who lives in a hotly-contested battleground state who says he is going to leave the presidential portion of the ballot blank. I can't go that far, but neither do I feel morally mandated to choose between the lesser of two evils. A vote for a third-party candidate is not a wasted vote - it sends a message also. That message is for the national parties to quit presenting us with crap candidates.
I will undoubtedly vote in the general election - in person, at the polls, on election day. Chances are excellent that I will cast my first vote for a woman for President - and I feel privileged to have lived long enough to do that. The question remains, of course, which woman?