My vote's in!

Four years ago, I was planning for my big study abroad trip. Originally, I had planned to go for a full calendar year and one of the most exciting parts of that was being able to vote absentee. For a variety of reasons, I didn't leave that fall and unfortunately, couldn't vote absentee in the 2008 election. My disappointment quickly turned to elation when my university was chosen to host  one of the Presidential debates that year. Through a series of fortunate events, I was lucky enough to be one of the volunteers who was granted access to the debate hall and I was able to watch the debate live. In one of those right place and the right time moments, I also met then Presidential Candidate Barack Obama. I'll take that over an absentee ballot any day.

This time around, I have no opportunity to vote except by absentee ballot. I've always been fascinated by the idea of voting absentee. By its very nature, an absentee ballot means that you are "absent" from your home, whether you are in another state or another country. I think there is something poetic and patriotic about choosing to vote and having your voice heard even if in that moment your "home" is away from home.

Regardless of my political affiliation, I have always believed it's crucial to vote. I feel fortunate to live in a country where I can place my vote, I know this isn't true in every country. I also know that people- first men and then women- fought very hard to be able to place their vote and I want to honor that. Even though I'm thousands of miles away from my home polling station, I still placed my vote.

Yesterday, I took a bus to the US Embassy and proudly placed my ballot in their voting box. The next step is for it to be sent to the States where it will then be sent to Nashville, Tennessee. On November 6th, I'll be watching the poll results and know that even from Lima, one of those numbers is me.