by Melinda Gallo

Sending in my absentee ballot

I was ecstatic when I received a large white envelope from California with my voting materials on Wednesday. Alessandro was shocked that it was so thick because he thought I'd only be voting for the president of the United States. I explained to him that each state includes other propositions in my state as well as other local offices in the county where I am registered.

He thought I would take only a few seconds to vote since my mind has been made up for a while now. Unfortunately, I had to read up on all the propositions in the pamphlet they provided me to be able to make an informed choice.

I was so careful filling in the small oval. Alessandro looked at my ballot and was surprised how clean each oval was. I had to explain our past election snafu with unclear votes on the ballots.

I was hoping that I could mail out my ballot the next day, but with all the reading I did, it took me much more time. I'm not going to risk it and will go to the Poste (post office) to make sure it is in the right hands. If I knew someone who was going to the US, I would've given it to them to mail for me, but I have faith that my ballot will arrive and will be counted.

There are quite a few voter registration offices around Florence to make sure all the Americans here are registered. Each time I walked into the Paperback Exchange, I was worried that maybe my ballot wasn't arriving or maybe I wasn't registered. I always said I was registered, but I wasn't completely sure since I hadn't received my ballot. I even emailed my voter registration office in California last week and they emailed me back a few days later saying that it was sent out on September 12. Now I have my bright orange ballot stub to prove that I received a ballot in the mail. Too bad I don't get anything for sending it in though.

I'm hoping that the voter turnout will be high this year so more people can vote for the person who they want to be in charge of our country. From what I read and see about the elections, our country seems quite divided. After the elections, I hope we can join forces again and be united no matter who is elected. I, of course, have my strong opinions about who I want, but as a country we cannot move forward if we are not united.

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