John Alan Turner

Speaker, Author, Mentor, Coach, Facilitator

On Voting

I voted today. On the official election day, I walked from my office to a local Lutheran Church and made my political will known. There was no line to speak of, the staff was mostly elderly women, and they were happy and polite. The process was very smooth. There was a young woman with an Obama t-shirt in front of me. Another young woman with a tattoo of a musical treble clef between her breasts was also there. Two friends from River Park were there. A young man who was nervous and unsure of how to proceed. An elderly gentleman dressed in a red, white and blue shirt was there. A few different skin tones, different hair styles, different generations -- some voting for the first time; others voting for perhaps the last time.

I could tell you who I voted for. Actually, most of you could probably guess. But, as my friend Stephen Mansfield often says, who I voted for isn't as important as who I voted with.

I voted today with millions of people from all around this great nation of ours. Black men voted today with tears in their eyes, pulling the lever or checking the box or connecting the line for an African-American presidential nominee. People from Canada or Mexico or India or China voted today for the first time as citizens of the USA. Veterans, wincing in pain, placed votes they took bullets to safeguard. Little old ladies voted, wanting to help shape the future of the country for their grandchildren.

Look, I know it's been an angry, messy campaign season. I know there is fear and there is rage. But none of that was at my polling place this afternoon. This afternoon, Americans voted their conscience, and then they held doors for each other and shook hands with strangers or talked about how good voting made them feel.