Election Day experience

Tim H. Mills Until then

June 3, 2014

Doing something because you have never done it before is as good of reasoning as any advice or suggestion you could ever receive. Trying something new has merit and value. This new open attitude can be contagious and is a guaranteed way to create fun and have more enjoyable conversation without a doubt. Learning is definitely a part of the experience of doing new things. One of my personal goals is to try something new or different every year.

This may not seem like a much of a goal to some reading this column, but for me, this single decision has changed my life. Here are some of the changes in my life because of my attempt to try something new or different at least once a year. I now eat broccoli and cauliflower. Salads and coleslaw are favorites too. A couple attempts at new things that I remain unsuccessful with involve coffee and tea. For some reason or another these two drinks and me have not found common taste bud grounds to be friends.

My goal of new experiences also involves activities and involvement in programs and causes. One thought that I have had on my mind for many years has been to serve as an election officer in a public election. This past primary May Primary Election in Kentucky I can gladly share I was able to serve and so thankful that I did. Having never missed a single opportunity to vote in an election I had always thought it would be neat to work on Election Day as I had seen so many others do as I went to the polls and voted. I must share that prior to this service I had not the first clue on how the process of being selected to serve at a voting precinct even worked, but I do now because I was selected to serve after volunteering.

Attending the State Board of Elections Precinct Election Officers training was full of surprising information about the process, rules and laws regarding voting, the poling place, and even compensation. Without a doubt serving alongside with Sheriff Barbara Green, Clerk Connie Miracle and Judge Jennifer Payne was a lot of fun and a great learning experience for me. Having the opportunity to meet citizens as they came to the polls to cast their votes and express their opinion through the electoral process was something that has made an impact because of the experience. Having the privilege to assist voters and witnessing citizens who were voting for the very first time in their lives provided me with a sense of pride and excitement about the privileges we have as citizens of the United States of America. Witnessing several 90-year-olds make their ways to the polls to vote could very well be the highlight of the day.

Trying new things is something that many folks are just not open to for reasons that I’ve discovered they cannot really explain. Their answers are usually simple and short when they say no to the invitation. It could be that folks say no out of fear to new experiences or because of a lack of understanding and information. For example, most people will be kind and polite in saying no to an invitation to attend church by saying, “I need to”, or even with the expression, “I’ve been thinking about coming back,” “we’ve been looking for a place to go.” Not sure why there is often no further action on the part of the invitees but more often then not, the gesture and invitation is remembered, it is just not acted upon.

If an individual objects on the grounds that religion is oppressive, I agree with the thought that religious people and religious institutions are oppressive, burdensome and I too try to avoid such moments, people and places too. The one thing that is so great about Jesus Christ and Christianity is that he wasn’t religious and He also found religious people to be oppressive and authoritative in a hurtful ways. After all, it was the religious leaders of His day that lied about Him, had Him arrested and persuaded the crowd to yell for the crucifixion of Jesus. Jesus Christ came to set people free of the rules and laws of the day and to provide for us the free gift and experience of His love, mercy and grace.

I am sure you can find someone that served on Election Day to complain about their experience just as you can find someone that has a bad word to say about Jesus and church too. Don’t let that stop you from personally having the experience of a lifetime. Give something new a chance and it might just change your life forever.