I went to my polling location in the early afternoon. The poll workers were seated at a folding table towards the middle of the room, and one came to meet me halfway after I announced that I was there to cast my ballot. The man told me that it was a slow day, evidenced by the low polling counts displayed on the front door of the building.
I checked in, the only necessary identification my driver’s license. My pick for presidential nominee came easily enough, but I paused upon seeing the long list of down-ballot candidates. I pulled my iPhone 6, aware that the poll worker was standing at my side, and contemplated finding some information to gain a better understanding of who all these unfamiliar names were. I cast my ballot, accepted my “I Voted!” sticker, and left the premises to run my day’s errands.
I listened to the radio on the way to my next stop: a man was talking about voting, and stressed how down-ballot votes were more important than the primary, because they wield greater influence over our day-to-day lives. With so much of our time spent on discussing the race for presidential nominees, the significance of local and state-level politics had slipped my mind altogether.
I kicked myself, but then I continued on with my day. Chalk this up to an adolescent political consciousness, one that will evolve in the years to come.