Thu, Nov 2, 2006, 4:55am U.S. 20-Somethings: VOTE
Politics » USA
ou talk a big talk, but you don't vote. Don't even bother saying, "Hey! I'm going to vote" because you probably won't. Worst excuses in the world include: 1) being turned off by the system; 2) disbelief that your vote matters in a system so bought-and-paid; 3) being ill-informed about the stuff to vote for; 4) it's only a mid-term, I can't vote for president. All crap reasons. It's not rocket surgery. It's the most casual, even enjoyable, thing you can do with a day. There's no time limit. It's painfully easy to do.

Just to address some of the points above: Not participating is what makes item #2 happen. Voting is the counter-move to a system which is sold to big business. #3 is cured by stopping by a local cafe for a short while, order a cup of coffee and just take a look at a local newspaper or voting pamphlet to see who's who and circle how you'd like to vote. You can take it with you. It's not cheating. You've put more effort into preparing for a small quiz for a class you didn't care about.

#4 requires some emphasis: Mid-terms, because of lower voter turn-out, makes your vote have more effect than the presidential elections. And if you're unhappy with the president, you can help to check (or bolster) his as-yet unchecked power by changing who's in Congress.

#1 is cured by simply voting once and see how easy and enjoyable it is. Then call your friends and see if they've voted. If they say there not going to vote, stop by their house and walk 'em through it.

If you don't want to reward a system that runs endless negative ads, and in which the two major parties have a lock on the system and play dirty pool, then vote for someone else! There are often more choices than you think there are. And you can always just not vote for anyone for a specific race if there is no 3rd or 4th option.

BTW, if you're voting on electronic machines, make sure to check that your vote was what you meant it to be — there are already reports of several types of machine errors.

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