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.
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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@TheFix Voting booths w/Dad at Constable School. Kennedy-Nixon. First time I heard: "Lesser of two evils." Pushed lever for Kennedy. Sold.
— Jane Beard (@JaneBIVL) November 5, 2013
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.
@TheFix my mom went out and I had a TV with a broken picture tube for company, listening to Nixon beat Humphrey and Wallace in 1968
— David Law (@davidkeithlaw) November 5, 2013
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.
— Craig Smith (@CraigSmithVA) November 5, 2013
@TheFix Absentee ballot in my college dorm at JMU. I voted Clinton. Roommate (now BFF) voted Dole, then asked who Kemp was. BFF's now a Dem.
— Christie Petrone (@christiepetrone) November 5, 2013
@TheFix - first election memory: Bugging my father every night of November 2000 - "Dad, do we have a president yet?"
— Emily Wilkins (@emrwilkins) November 5, 2013
.@TheFix voting on a kid’s ballot at the polling place in 1996. Watching the returns in 2000, I TIVOed the coverage and kept it for months.
— Chris F. Nicholson (@chrisFnicholson) November 5, 2013
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.
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.
— Wil (@MySingleOpinion) November 5, 2013
@washingtonpost 2000 election. I was 9 living in CA and I stayed up until 11:20 on the west coast to see Bush win and then Gore's retraction
— Alex Zhu (@zhulander09) November 5, 2013
@washingtonpost 11 years old. Parents take me to the polls where I punch holes with a pin into my fake ballot, voting for George Washington.
— Erik (@dexhandle) November 5, 2013
— Ken Sands (@kensands) November 5, 2013
— npv708 (@npv708) November 5, 2013
@washingtonpost 9 yrs old running a mock-election for GWB for a grade and then voting multiple times for Gore at ToysRUS, voter fraud whoops
— Irma Fernandez (@irmafernandez) November 5, 2013
@washingtonpost Entering the voting booth with my mom in '76, using the kids' voting toy, and being disappointed that they weren't tabulated
— John Roerty (@JohnRoerty) November 5, 2013
.@washingtonpost My first election was June 4th 1989, Poland. I was 29 and boycotted all the previous communist farce votes. Remarkable day.
— adam bartosiewicz (@adanbart) November 5, 2013
@washingtonpost I was too young to understand what was happening, but I was super excited to pull a lever in what seemed to be a shower.
— Maria Oparil (@MariaOparil) November 5, 2013
@washingtonpost I remember when Carter won in 1976. The election was a topic of conversation on the school bus, even in elementary school.
— Bill (@theWDB) November 5, 2013
@washingtonpost We named our collie Ladybird after the VP's wife. Lived in a very red OK and parents wanted folks to know how they leaned.
— Karen (@vtktorg) November 5, 2013