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Voting: An age-old tradition
by Nathan Orme
Oct 23, 2010 | 989 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Getting older has never bothered me. Maybe it’s too easy for me to say right now, since I’m only 34 years old, but it is the truth. I often have joked that I can’t wait to be retired, traveling around in my RV, enjoying breakfast at 5:30 a.m. and dinner at 3 p.m., reminiscing about the good old days and collecting Social Secu ... well, those first ones, anyway.

Actually, a lot of those things sound pretty good right now. There has to be some way I came join the senior citizens club early. Maybe my mom was right when she always said I was born an old soul.

On occasion, however, it strikes me that I certainly am not as young as I used to be. For example, I did not care one lick about turning 30, but when my “little” brother (all 6 feet of him) hit three decades this year it was pretty weird for me. A week or so ago, I was watching a documentary on baseball’s recent history, and when it featured segments on games from the early 1990s and I saw how young the players looked and how different the uniforms were it was like watching an “old movie,” until I remembered I watched those events when they happened live.

And earlier this week, I noticed an ad on the website of Reno’s other newspaper about the so-called Top 20 Under 40 awards, recognizing young businesspeople in the area. I first noticed the program three years ago when I came to live here, and I remember thinking, “I have lots of time to get on that list.” But earlier this week, I thought two other things: One, I no longer care about being a Top 20 Under 40 and, two, I only have five chances left to be one.

Not being a creepy salesman or an attractive woman, I’d probably never get on that stupid list anyway, but more importantly I look forward to being too old for the silly little award. The feeling that such things don’t matter is a sign of maturity, and I like being mature. Part of me will always be a little immature, but I want the wisdom and experience that life has to offer and the only way to get them is to live life. Unfortunately, that means putting some years behind you.

The upcoming election is another reminder to me of the importance of age. Voting is something older people do in greater numbers because they have come to understand and respect the process and how only as a collective voice can like-minded people convert will into power. Admittedly, I could still use some discipline to make myself a better informed voter, but I am getting better. I have always voted, but through the years I have come to learn that stepping into the booth is not enough. You have to put some thought behind the ballot.

The Internet has made this much easier. Reading statements directly from candidates and engaging in discourse with other citizens around the country can be done with little effort. As always, it is up to us as individuals to wade through the rhetoric and mudslinging to find truth and the electronic age has given us more of that, but it is still an amazing time to be in a democracy when the entire world is now literally at our fingertips.

So, I again will sound like an old person but I hope everyone will do a little research and then head to the polls. Fortunately, Nevada has an interesting midterm race between U.S. Sen. Harry Reid and Sharron Angle to generate some interest. But don’t forget there are state, county and city offices up for grabs, too. Pretty much all candidates have websites and all the candidates are listed on the Washoe County Registrar of Voters site at www.co.washoe.nv.us/voters. This coming week, the Tribune will feature some articles on state and local issues you’ll see on the ballot, beyond the Reid/Angle brouhaha. Take a little time to learn and then put in your two cents. If you choose not to vote, hopefully in 2012 you’ll be a little older and wiser.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I want to buy an “Old Guys Rule” T-shirt.

Nathan Orme is the editor of the Sparks Tribune. He can be reached at norme@dailysparkstribune.com.
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