According to an online report, only 37% of registered voters in my county voted in the recent election. That means 63% couldn’t be bothered. Sixty-three percent. Don’t get me started on the citizens who haven’t registered. It makes me want to slap someone.
I know it’s a pain. My fiancé and I spent three hours reading through candidates’ statements, reviewing endorsements, trying to make sense of which propositions did what and which propositions canceled out others; we debated the merits of each item on the ballot, and occasionally agreed to disagree. It was a mind-numbing, headache-inducing, frequently discouraging experience. But we did it, because it’s important, and we rushed through our Tuesday morning routine so we could cast our ballots before the anticipated rush to the polls.
Now that the results are in, I’m hearing a lot of whining about the outcome. And a lot of the people who are doing the whining are the ones who couldn’t even manage to send in an absentee ballot.
To the 63% I say, You have given up the right to speak, write, blog, protest, or scream any opinion about any aspect of our government until you do your part and vote. Got a problem with that? Then address it by using your voice—and your vote—in the next election cycle.
Kathleen Guthrie is a Northern California–based freelance writer. Her articles have appeared in AAA’s Westways, GRIT, Real Simple, and 805 Living magazines. Read “How to Be the World’s Best Aunt Ever” on eHow.com.
What’s got you all fired up today?