I just recently moved to New York and registered to vote here, and I’m fascinated by the upcoming elections. Aside from a few scattered people wearing massive “Hillary” buttons and some “Spitzer” posters announcing the inevitable, I haven’t seen or heard much about any of the candidates from the people I interact with on a daily basis.

When I lived in Connecticut I knew all of the candidates for everything in my town; the current First Selectman (no mayor for us!) used to drive the school bus that brought my brother to kindergarten, in high school I worked for the campaign for our representative to Congress, even the registrar of voters is my friend’s mom. So it’s strange to not be discussing the elections on a daily basis as if it was the latest junior high school intrigue.

This is not to say that politics is one of my main interests – it really isn’t – but this is the first time I’ll be voting in local elections that I’ve had to really work to learn about the candidates. It’s not a difficult process, thanks to the internet and the numerous websites like Smart Voter, e.thePeople, and poor beleaguered MoveOn, but it is time-consuming, and for the first time I feel like an amateur in the midst of professionals.

Especially when I found the complete list of all the candidates and discovered *gasp* that there are 6, count ‘em, 6! people running for governor! Green Party! Socialist Workers! And I’ve never heard a single one of these names! What’s an independent thinker to do?

It also doesn’t help that I may be moving again in a few months, and like many of my generation, I move so frequently that there isn’t enough time to become involved or even aware of local politics before I have to start packing again. In the last 8 years I’ve lived in 8 different places in 3 different states, which is why I just kept filling out absentee ballots all of those years. What’s a wandering Jew to do?

I finally admitted to myself that I wasn’t going to be able to learn all of the issues and all of the candidates in the week before the election. But a goal of reading one article each day about one candidate didn’t seem out of my reach. And I have to admit that the pseudo-sexy, hyper-cute “Remember your first time? television ads from Women’s Voices. Women Vote. definitely refreshed my sense of purpose. After all, I love being able to vote, I am constantly grateful that the efforts of Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Carrie Chapman Catt and the rest of the suffragists were not in vain, and I’m glad that I live in New York and not Florida, so that my vote is marginally more likely to actually get counted.

So I will be coming into work late next Tuesday (another bonus!) so I can stand in line and choose one candidate from the many, even if I still don’t feel like I know enough, even if I’m not sure that my vote will make a difference, even though I probably won’t even be living in the same voting district by the time the newly-elected officials report for work. And maybe, just maybe one day I’ll move back to Connecticut, so I can just vote for the girl I used to baby-sit and be done with it.