The author and her voting sticker. (Photo by Kat Sorensen)

The author and her voting sticker. (Photo by Kat Sorensen)

Tangled Up in Blue: I voted

I feel like I’ve been talking about voting for weeks, months … maybe more like 1,451 days, but I can’t stop talking about voting.

I get giddy when I see a friend posting a photo with their “I voted” sticker. I placed mine squarely on my forehead before snapping a selfie — the opposite of a dunce cap.

And I’ve been trying to think of the perfect way to summarize how easy and fulfilling it is to vote, but I keep coming back to a column I wrote around this time two years ago, where I forced some analogies about voting.

“Backcountry skiing, from my remedial understanding, involves hiking up a mountain with skis on your back and an avalanche beacon in your pocket (a shovel somewhere too!) in search of something exhilarating. It sounds like an exhausting and dangerous uphill battle — anything but easy. In true Alaska fashion, though, my buddies are counting down the days to get out there.

And me? I’m finding it hard to wrap my head around a task that difficult. I’ll stick to some simpler things for now, like voting.

Did you know that Alaska is a no excuse absentee voting state? Anyone can vote early, whether in-person, through the mail, online or even through a fax machine (for me, another difficult task would be finding a fax machine).”

Since writing that in 2018, I’ve gone backcountry skiing. It’s just as difficult as I described, but I’ve gone from oblivious onlooker to owning my own pair of skis. I even have skins so the skis can stay on my feet as I head up the mountainside, instead of being carried on my back.

Now, I’m among that group counting down the days until the snow covers everything we see. Backcountry skiing is still a challenge in my mind, but one I approach head on. It’s transitioned.

Voting, though, hasn’t. It’s just as important now as it was two years ago. It’s also just as easy now as it was two years ago.

Do you have a hunting trip out to some remote bit of land accessible only by a 40-mile hike planned for this upcoming Tuesday, election day? Sounds like a tough, but fun, trip. Scratch something easy off your to-do list ahead of time by driving over to the Kenai, Seward or Homer City Clerk’s office or the Kenai Peninsula Borough Risk Management Building and vote between now and Monday.

Are you waiting with bated breath for the ice to freeze over, turning Alaska into an ice skater’s paradise? Well, while you wait, get your vote in! That way if the ice is perfect Tuesday, you won’t have to decide between the future of our democracy and a beautiful day of skating.

As for me, I voted last week. I plan on spending election day out in nature, hopefully thinking of something else to write about besides voting.


For the Clarion

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