It’s election day. My town is electing a mayor and a few other posts. Before I went to work, I went to vote.
It’s always the same. I walk into the lunchroom at the local elementary school, find the table that matches my street, show my drivers license and get my ‘ticket’. Then I vote on a machine which looks like every voting machine I’ve used since 1971 (Nixon-McGovern at Mallard Creek 2 in Charlotte, NC).
I looked down at the list today as they crossed off my name. Beneath Helaine Fox and Geoffrey Fox was Stefanie Fox. How cool is that, Steffie is a registered voter.
Steffie didn’t vote today and that’s fine. In fact, as far as I’m concerned, she did the right thing by not voting!
Voting is the final step of a long process. Unless you take all the steps – don’t vote. Steffie is at college where it would be impossible for her to know what’s going on locally.
I was passing by VH1 last night while some folks were talking about Paris Hilton’s participation in a “Vote or Die” program in the last election. As it turned out, Paris neither voted nor died.
I worry about get out the vote programs. They concentrate on the wrong part of the equation. You shouldn’t vote because there’s guilt involved. When you vote, it should be because you’ve got an idea what’s going on and an opinion you want heard.
Like I said, voting is the final step of a long process.
3 thoughts on “Election Day 2005”
“As it turned out, Paris neither voted or died.”
What a shame! I saw this and I couldn’t believe that after the guilt-fest.. she hadn’t even registered to vote!
I’m glad to see I’m not the only proponent of informed voting. If you don’t know the issues and don’t care enough to find out, please don’t vote. At best it introduces noise into the system; at worst elects someone who doesn’t deserve the office.
Most Get Out the Vote program recognizes that voting is the final step in the process. They are typically based on having done voter identification and knowing which voters have already decided to vote the direction that the GOTV program wants.
If I am working for a specific candidate, I want to do everything I can to get people that I know are supporting my candidate out to vote, but I don’t want to do anything to get people opposing my candidate out to vote.
If both sides do this, you will get better democracy.
As an aside, part of the reason I’m a big proponent of candidates blogging is that done right it can help address the issue of getting voters more informed.