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    Posted November 6, 2012 by
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Election Day 'I Voted' challenge

    akteacher78 and 14 other iReporters contributed to Open Story: 'I Voted' Election 2012
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    Voting on My Birthday in Small-Town Alaska

    I'm a teacher in a rural community in Alaska and am originally from Wisconsin. Once in a great while, election day falls on my birthday, and today was one of those days. Honestly, I was so excited for the election that turning another year older was at the back of my mind. I know our community covers the political spectrum in terms of values, preferred candidates, and political leanings in general, but I don't see any of those differences being particularly divisive among us. I'm not a fan of the employees at our polling place being able to see the party with which voters are registered, but honestly, I think a person would catch more flak if they didn't show up to vote, regardless of what is at stake in the election. I have a feeling that this election is going be a close one, and in a way, I hope it is so my students understand the importance of voting and learning about issues important to them. We did a little bit of work to learn about different candidates, including those not belonging to the 'major' parties, and some of the kids were surprised that their beliefs didn't always match up with the candidate they supported. It made for some interesting discussions in the classroom.
    At the end of the day, if this election has encouraged broader participation, I'd be happy with that. Hearing all of these stories about fractured friendships (okay, Facebook friendships in several cases) and divided families is kind of disheartening and might make for an awkward holiday season, but I would hope that the American people can recognize the importance of moving forward once the president-elect has been determined, and supporting efforts to continue making our country great.
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