Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Year I was Dead - Migraine and Voting.

Voting when you suffer a chronic illness like lupus, Sjogren's Syndrome or Migraine is difficult at best.  Still, I always do my best to get to the polls, even if that means getting someone else to drive me there.  Today I received notice that my voting record had been audited.  I didn't even know just anybody could do that!  When I saw that they had recorded that I did not vote in 2004 I was a little miffed.  

Would it surprise you to learn that in 2004 I was told I couldn't vote because I was dead?

It sure surprised me at the time! 

I had finally made it to my polling place.  It was dark and there was a line.  When I got to the table where they asked my name, they looked and looked.  My hubs and son were there, but not me.  

Where was I?  The ladies helping with voting knew me, and they were as shocked as I was.

I insisted that I wanted to vote.  So phone calls were made, and eventually the mistake was found.

I was listed as having passed away nearly a year before!

Needless to say, the reports of my death were greatly exaggerated, so they provided me with a provisional ballot and I was "allowed" to cast my vote. 

In other years I have had difficulty voting.  Fluorescent lights in my polling place triggered a Migraine aura that made it nearly impossible.  I have had to wait out a Migraine so I could drive myself.  I have carried a barf-bag with me in the car because I was afraid I wouldn't make it the 6 miles to vote.  I have been stuck at home without a ride, and missed voting.

Voting isn't just a privilege, it is a responsibility.  As far as I'm concerned, if I don't vote, I have no right to complain about the results.  

This year I'll be voting.  Will you?

Live your best life,
Ellen Schnakenberg
~patient educator and advocate

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