Let's Talk Voting
I just sent off an email to my children and their spouses to encourage them to consider working the polls for the November election. Traditionally, people in my age group and older have been the ones working the polls. This year, because of the Covid-19 virus, most of those people do not feel safe serving as poll workers. So, we must find other people to take the job for the day. Otherwise, some polling places will close, resulting in longer lines and other people missing the chance to vote because they don’t know where to vote.
What Else Can You Do?
If you are a Boomer, and not registered to vote … Register To Vote!
If you are in a state where you must apply for an absentee ballot ... Apply Now!
Make a voting plan. Are you going to vote absentee in person, absentee by mail, or are you going to go to the polls?
Practice Relational Organizing. This means mobilizing your existing networks, ensuring that everyone you know is registered to vote and has a voting plan.
Write your state legislature, if your state has not instituted all that needs to be done to ensure safe and fair elections.
Educate young people about voting. A recent Tufts University poll conducted by CIRCLE (Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement) had some interesting findings.
83% believe that young people have the power to change the country
60% feel like they are part of a movement that will vote to express their views
79% say the COVID-19 pandemic has helped them realize that politics impact their everyday lives
HOWEVER, 32% said they did not know if they could register online
Most are not familiar with absentee voting, or how to vote if they on a college campus outside of their place of residence.
Why Your Vote Matters
I have heard it said many times… “my vote doesn’t matter.” Let’s talk about why it and how it does matter.
Local elections are often decided by very slim margins. Every vote in a local election can make a difference.
In primary elections, when fewer voters turn out, it is likely that the winner of a primary election will be the winner of the general election. Particularly in areas that have been designed to favor one party over another. Your vote can definitely make a difference in a primary election
Different age groups have different interests and priorities. Traditionally older voters vote in higher numbers. If younger people do not vote, they are letting older voters determine the direction their congressional leaders will go. That may not be in the direction that best supports the needs of the younger voter.
Democracy is not a spectator sport. The more of us who participate, the more impact we will have on our own lives.
Seth Godin, author, speaker and entrepreneur wrote an impassioned blog about voting and the impact of campaign ads on the electorate. He summed it up by saying,
“Voting is free. It’s fairly fast. It doesn’t make you responsible for the outcome, but it sure has an impact on what we have to live with going forward. The only thing that would make it better is free snacks.
Even if you’re disgusted, vote. Vote for your least unfavorite choice. But go vote.”