Saturday, November 5, 2016

Ten Cool-ish Reasons to Vote

I don't usually write political posts, and this one isn't going to name any candidates. But there is so much trouble with American turnout, and I truly, madly and deeply think we can do better. So... I created a little list of reasons that I hope will spur you to get to your polling booths this week:

First, the fun stuff:

1. You get to use a fat, arty-looking pencil. Who cares if it's attached to a string or not? It's FUN. And how often do you get to use big pencils to do something official?

2. If you do it with friends, you can find time to celebrate afterwards--with drinks, lunch, coffee or a dinner party.

3. You can use the vote sticker to seal an envelope when you send a "Thinking of You" card to someone who disagrees with your politics.

4.You can look forward to going home and watching TV without attack ads.

5. Unlike the Internet, voting is truly private. That means that no one, not your friends, your boss, neighbors, siblings, parents, or kids is going to know who you voted for. And you don't ever have to tell them!

6. If you're 18 and voting for the first time, you can tell younger friends and siblings how cool it was to vote. You can even exaggerate and make things up, provided you say things that can't be checked out later.

Medium fun reasons:

7. You get to see the other people who live in your neighborhood. This isn't usually possible unless you're on line waiting to vote. (I'm always fascinated by the people I didn't know who are living just a few blocks away.) Some could be interesting enough to make up stories about--and could even inspire a character or two in something you're writing.

8. You'll meet the cool people volunteering behind the desk where you sign in. Usually they're older adults who you might never meet otherwise. It's a chance to get rid of the stereotypes you carry in your head - and who couldn't use more chances like those?

9. If you're a parent, voting gives you the opportunity to have a "teachable moment" with young children, and inundate them with your philosophy before they get too old to disagree with you. One of the inalienable rights of parenthood.

Not as fun but most important:

10. Voting gives you the chance to put your stamp on the country's future. Yes. Literally. Bringing in the people you want to govern your laws, business, everything, moment to moment. Even one vote is extremely significant. For 1784, Thomas Jefferson put forth an amendment to abolish slavery in the U.S. The motion lost by ONE vote. Imagine if ONE more person had voted yes... 

Bottom line:



Young voter photo: benketaro
Vote photo: J. Zark