My high school was the alma mater of the Pankhurst sisters, founders of the British Women's Suffragette Movement. I always voted, marking X on a paper next to the candidate of my choice.
Now I'm an American citizen. For weeks I stuffed the forest of election materials into a grocery bag, then Sunday morning hauled the bag over to my dining room table and emptied it out. I read the Voter Information Guide, Supplemental Guide, every glossy flier, created an Excel spreadsheet.
A registered Democrat, I voted slate for all state offices, but got stuck on the non-partisan ones. I moved on to ranked choice voting for Oakland mayor, which even Jerry Brown jokes he doesn't understand.
Then state measures and propositions. Prop 45: The California Nurses Association was "for" but the American Nurses Association of California was "against." I dug out the ACLU's endorsements and voted their slate. Three hours and only halfway through.
After lunch I did local measures, city and county Offices, finished up the non-partisans. Then I started on the judges. I knew I should Google them but it was growing dark. Rather than vote for every judge whose name began with a vowel, I sealed my ballots, signed the envelope - twice -- six hours, but I could drop this in the mail tomorrow. Then, I see "Requires Additional Postage."
I called a friend who told me mailing her ballot cost 91cents. But she's Republican -- maybe she only said that so my vote would arrive late?