Rock the Vote!

No, this post isn’t about writing. It’s okay, you can read it anyway.

As you may or may not be aware (but should be), there is an election coming up tomorrow. No, it’s not a Presidential election. No, that doesn’t mean it’s not important. If you are over the age of 18, eligible to vote in the United States, and capable of voting, I urge you to familiarize yourself with the ballot, find your polling place, and go vote tomorrow.

Yes, you’ll have to stand in line for a long time. Go with a friend or bring a book. You’ll live.

It’s also okay to encourage other people to vote. But what’s not okay? To berate, confront, or antagonize people who don’t vote. Here’s why.
1. When I was eighteen, with my bright, shiny new voter registration, I took it upon myself to become the voting police. I told EVERYONE to vote. And if they said they didn’t want to, I immediately embarked on a lecture of the joy of voting and why everyone needs to do it. After far longer that I’d have given me, the poor man I was inundating with the rights and responsibilities of a U.S. citizen looked me in the eye and said quietly, “Convicted felons aren’t allowed to vote.”

He probably didn’t want me to know that.

2. My husband was not born in America. Everyone knows this. Everyone remembers when he got his green card a few very short months ago. No one apparently can connect the dots. He gets a lot of flak for not voting in a country where he is not a citizen and is not allowed to vote. And it’s annoying to remind 1,200 of your closet Facebook friends of something they already know. All day.

So, in short: Vote, encourage others to vote, but don’t be a douche about it. There are actually valid reasons for not voting.

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