What’s your first Election Day memory?

November 5, 2013

Election Day is a very special day for the Fix -- and for political junkies (and even non political junkies).  It's a time when you see democracy in action, and the efforts of thousands of candidates, activists and consultants either come to fruition or, well, not.


Volunteers are out in force and loaded down with hundreds of campaign flyers to hand out to voters walking or driving into precinct 308 and 371 at the Northwest Church of Christ in Detroit, on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013. (AP Photo/Detroit Free Press, Eric Seals)

The Fix remembers well the first time we went to vote with Fix Dad.  The 1984 presidential election. Polling place was Elmer Thienes elementary school in Marlborough, Conn. Old-school voting machines -- curtain and all -- with a bunch of buttons and levers to press. I stood next to my dad while he closed the curtain and did his thing. I was proud.

Natalie Jennings, a WaPo political producer and Louisiana native, has this AMAZING first Election Day memory:

One of my earliest political memories is a distinctly Louisiana one. It was 1991 and the night of a gubernatorial primary. I knew two bad guys were running -- David Duke had been a member of the Ku Klux Klan and Edwin Edwards was a shady character, though I don't think I understood why at the time.

I was riding with my dad back from an errand, and he stopped at a drive-through liquor store (they are fairly common in Louisiana). My dad asked the guy at the checkout window if he had heard any returns, and they had a few minutes of conversation about how screwed we were either way, but looked liked they'd have to go ahead and vote for the crook.

So, what's your first memory of an Election Day?  Share in the comment section below or reply to @thefix on Twitter. We'll post them as we get them below.
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Comment from "Howswedeitis":

1980. Reagan vs. Carter. I hadn't followed the election very closely because I was 10 and my immigrant parents weren't particularly political. But my fourth-grade class in Pittsburgh had held an election and it was Jimmy Carter in a landslide. I still remember my shock the next morning on learning that Ronald Reagan was our next president. It was my Dewey-Truman moment, when I learned to my chagrin that our privileged fourth-grade class was not an accurate proxy for the American electorate.

 

Comment from Minister Gayl Caul:

I was in grade school which was a polling place. I remember Goldwater was running and the jokes about him. I asked a lady who she voted for and she politely taught me that it was a secret ballot and I shouldn't ask.

 

 

Facebook comment from Erik DuMont

Hm.. being in 4th grade and one of about 14 kids in my elementary school to vote for Mondale in our school mock election in Norman, Oklahoma. If I remember right, that about matches the total number of votes he got in Oklahoma.

Comment from MVanHorn:

The first time that I voted was the first time that I was legally able, just a few days after I turned 18. I proudly stood in line by myself for a half an hour and submitted that ballot, earning my 'I voted' sticker. While I am sure that my tiny little vote did not drastically change the world, I certainly felt powerful. It was an inspirational moment, finally being a part of the system that had such an impact in my life.

Comment from across2:

I turned 7 just after 1984 presidential election. My mom took me to my school's crowded auditorium to vote. I started to talking to her about our guy Mondale and my mom said maybe we should talk quietly because we were probably the only people in that room who were there to vote for him.

Facebook comment from Sandra Buzanowski Ramos:

1980 - third grade (oh, jeez, i'm that old...) I organized some friends to scribble in our notebooks and chant "Vote John Anderson, he's independent" (not that I really knew what that meant.) I was hauled into the principal's office for "electioneering within 100 feet of a polling place" and almost expelled from school.

Chris Cillizza writes “The Fix,” a politics blog for the Washington Post. He also covers the White House.
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