Here in the U.S. it’s that time again. It’s voting day! I admit I am usually a much more informed voter than I am today but through the power of Google and social media I am taking time today to look up candidates and ballot issues and doing my best to vote with my conscious.
I am a big believer in the power of democracy and I am encouraging everyone I know to get out and vote today too. Unfortunately, my efforts are being met with a lot of indifference. Most people are either claiming ignorance of the issues or lack of confidence in the system as their primary reasons for not voting today. I fell like all I’m hearing are excuses for laziness and a means of skirting responsibility when the government isn’t working the way the people want it to.
For me voting is of the utmost importance. How can we hope to change anything when so many people are choosing to not even get involved in the process. This country is very polarized and so many of these elections and issues are poll at an almost 50/50 split. In this day and age every vote really does matter.
This morning I took to Twitter to help encourage the undecided and uninformed to at least make some kind of effort today. One person tweeted that even if you are uninformed but have good intentions you should vote, if for no other reason than to cancel out the votes of the uninformed but ill-intentioned. I liked that. There are many out there who are voting along party lines just because their party has more racists or hate poor people more. The good intentioned could really even things out.
I was also surprised to see so many women and POC proclaiming proudly that they weren’t going to vote today. Most of them claimed that voting doesn’t matter and that the government will do whatever they want to do anyway. I cannot prove that this isn’t true but I do not that if it isn’t true the people who want the government to be able to do whatever they want will today by default. So I figure it’s better to make the effort just in case.
I also have issues with people who don’t vote, yet constantly complain about the government. We get mad that abortion rights are still an issue, but then we choose not to vote. We get mad the there is no help for the poor, then we choose not to vote. We get mad that marriage equality isn’t moving forward fast enough, then we choose not to vote. This make no sense! Laws are changed in many ways but the easiest and simplest way to change the country and the laws is to VOTE!
And if that doesn’t sway you, at least try to remember that there were many people who fought and died so that you could be heard today. Remember that there was a time when whole groups of people didn’t get a say in who was elected or what laws were enacted. Some of those people were threatened, and beaten, and killed, so that you could be represented. I think the least you could do to thank them is to take a few minutes of your time every two years to go and vote.
So please, please, please, for the love of God, go vote today. It isn’t hard and as long as you do your best and vote with good intentions I promise you will feel good about it afterwards. And you get a sticker! :)