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The first Time

Whenever we do something for the very first time there is this exciting mixture of anticipation and anxiety, no matter how much we tried to educate ourselves about the process and the expected outcome. Casting my first vote in a US primary elections as a citizen was no different in that respect.

Political campaigns in the US are more about personalities of individual candidates and not so much about factual party programs. It also seems that I have less choices available to vote for than in Germany. The biggest difference, in my opinion, is the fact that a person can become the President of the United States without earning a majority of people's votes. 

Organization of the election itself is different too. In the US you will not receive an invitation in the mail, telling you about an upcoming election and reminding you of your polling station's location. You will not receive any information about what to do in case you're not able to show up at your polling station. Elections in the US are always held on a Tuesday, not on a Sunday like in Germany. You don't use a pencil on paper to make your selections either, votes are cast on mobile computer terminals.

Just like most my previous "first times" this one wasn't all that exciting either. The lack of candidates whom I could wholeheartedly vote for forced me to make sure I voted against some that I really don't want to see in office. In the end the result may be the same either way, but at least I participated.


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