Honestly, there is nothing that depresses me more than hearing, the day after the polls close in November, that voter turnout was at an all-time low. But that seems to be a pretty common headline come Wednesday morning, especially after a midterm election. Presidential races and the resulting hoopla tend to turn out a few more voters … sometimes.
But midterm elections are just as critical.
Think about it: On Nov. 7, we are voting on a number of propositions that will potentially affect, in no particular order, our water quality, our air quality, our taxes, our children’s education, access to reproductive health services, eminent domain, the handling of sexual predators and political campaign funding. If one of those issues doesn’t inspire you to spare the five minutes out of your day that it takes to vote, well then, what are you doing reading this editorial? You’re obviously a busy person.
Voting is one of the easiest acts of civic engagement that exists. It is asking so little — make yourself marginally educated on the issues, walk, drive or ride to your polling place and draw a few dark lines on a piece of paper. It’s less painful than a flu shot … and you probably already got one of those.
This Tuesday, you actually have an opportunity to make your opinion heard. Don’t believe the people who say your vote doesn’t count — Elton Gallegly and Arnold Schwarzenegger have already won. The real truth is: They haven’t won yet. No one gets to win until after we vote. That’s the beauty of this system. Sure, we’ve heard it all a million times; the districts are gerrymandered and yours is just one vote — but don’t let those God awful excuses stop you from exercising your very priceless right to support the people you want representing you on Capitol Hill and in Sacramento.
Look at it this way: If you don’t vote, you are actually helping the candidate that you don’t like. You are supporting the propositions you’d never in a million years vote for. Why would you do that? You wouldn’t, because it makes absolutely no sense.
Are you fed up with the war in Iraq; are you mad about the corruption in Washington, D.C.; are you tired of driving on freeways that seem to be falling apart under your wheels? Stop bitching to your neighbors and your co-workers. Vote!
Get fired up! This is bigger than the World Series and the Super Bowl combined. Make some chicken wings, wear your lucky boxers, take the day off of work, throw a party. Watch the returns and throw things at the television screen because you care. This is your life, your community, your kids’ future.
Please, before I burst a blood vessel in my forehead, vote!