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The Day After the Election: A Recap of What I Learned on Election Day

As most of the free world can attest, yesterday (and last night) was election day here in the United States, which is a very serious and somber process. It is on election day that we select candidates to serve all the way from local positions up to the President of the United States. These choices can have a major impact on how government interacts with employers and their employees over the following four years. 

This election day was much different for me than those in past years. I learned a lot by looking and listening as the election process was fed back to me through the eyes and ears of my children. My high school junior and 8th grader had strong feelings about who the right candidate for the job might be for President. The problem is they did not agree. Talk about partisan politics. It's hard enough to keep the normal sibling squabbles under control without tossing politics into the equation. 

While the older siblings were entertaining at some times and irritating at others, the 2nd grader brought the political process into a whole new light for me. On election night at the dinner table I was grilled by her about whether I had voted yet. I had not done so, which seemed to be a big deal even though the polling locations were still open for another ninety minutes (I like to slip in near closing in hopes it is quieter). Not only did I get chastised for not having exercised my right to vote, I was provided with a summary for use in making my decision in the voting booth. It went something like this . . . "Obama is the blue guy. And the blue people are all donkeys. The other people are the red ones. Mick Romney is the red guy and he is an elephant. So you can vote for the blue donkeys or the red elephants." 

By the way, just in case you are wondering about my typing skills, she did say "Mick" and not Mitt.

After listening to her story about the candidates, colors, and the appropriate animals, I made the only decision a sucker of a dad could make - I was going to take her along to experience the voting process. So I called on my high school junior to serve as our driver and we hopped in his sled pulled by eight tiny reindeer . . . oops I got carried away and meant to say his 1994 Dodge Dakota pickup for the dangerous drive to our polling location. By the way, for those of you without teen drivers, that was a long mile-and-a-half drive. 

We waited in what turned out to be a fairly short line (waiting until almost closing time usually works), and then my 2nd grader stood by my side while I went through the five pages or so of the ballot. Since the high schooler was our driver, I figured the 2nd grader should be a participant on election night as well - if for no other reason than to make sure I didn't violate a fairness rule. So she was given the task of pushing the final submit button when it was time.

Who knows, maybe election day really can be as simple as blue-versus-red or donkeys-versus-elephants. It just might be that the 2nd grader has it all figured out. At least this election year she can feel like she actually cast a real ballot, since she was in charge of pushing the "go" button.

Before we close out, I should turn back to a serious note. The outcome of the election is in the books, for the most part. While there are some lingering races across the country still being counted, and maybe recounted, the leadership of our country for the next cycle is now in place. This is sure to bring some continuity in what we have seen over the last four years out of the federal government. Employers should stay tuned and pay close attention as the policy and enforcement positions get more public attention. 


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Don Berner, the Labor Law, OSHA, & Immigration Law Guy
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Boyd Byers, the General Employment Law Guy
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Jason Lacey, the Employee Benefits Guy
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