"The notion that such persons are gay of heart and carefree is curiously untrue. They lead, as a matter of fact, an existence of jumpiness and apprehension. They sit on the edge of the chair of Literature. In the house of Life they have the feeling that they have never taken off their overcoats."
- James Thurber, My Life and Hard Times

Monday, November 3, 2014

Why should I vote?

Tomorrow is the "midterm elections," a voting day infamous for the teeny percentage of voters who turn out. Even during a presidential election year, we get far too few citizens exercising their right. Let me repeat: citizens exercising their right to vote. It is YOUR right. Blood was shed in order to give you that. Why are you not using it?

Here are some of the reasons I hear:

1. "My husband is one party and I am the other, so our votes cancel out."
Okay, maybe, but if your husband votes and you don't, then your 'party' loses. And are you really faithful to a party? Or do you vote for the person or the issue?

Vote, because even if you can't control the election, you believe in your candidate/issue and you want them to win.

2. "The polls already say Proposition X is going to win. Why should I bother?"
Because the polls get things wrong sometimes. The tide of public opinion sometimes turns. I watched this during the recent vote for Scotland to become independent of the UK. The polls had the "Yes" votes winning by a slight margin. In the end, voters got cold feet and the "No" votes won.

Vote, because your vote is your voice, and maybe it won't win but it will be heard.

3. "These propositions are too hard to understand. I don't even know which way to vote."
I hear ya, Sistah. It's frustrating to me, to read through the actual text of the propositions, knowing that the average reading ability of most Americans is 5th grade and these props are written for lawyers, not laymen. It's equally frustrating that most of the voters will cast their ballots for the most convincing commercial. Threaten with more taxes, less services, more government, whatever provokes the most fear, and people will react.

Vote, because these propositions will lead your state to either prosperity or ruin. If you don't at least vote, you don't get to complain about their results.

4. "Who are these local yahoos, anyway? I don't know/care who we elect to judge/city council/trustee."
Well, you should. This is the level that you DO have some control over - the LOCAL level. Your city may be in debt. Don't you want someone that wants to pull it out of the red? For everyone who wants city services to thrive, but doesn't want to pay more in fees/taxes, how are any of these candidates planning to accomplish this?

Vote, because you care about your streetlights, your safety, your children's education, your home.

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