I voted today…did you?

OK, I am sorry for any and everyone that comes into contact with me today (I might even be sorry for people reading this right now...soapbox alert), because I am going to ask each one of you whether you voted. I went this morning..first thing and I have to say that it was actually empowering. I'm not much of a "rah! rah!" person (OK, I have my candidate's name painted on the back window of my car, but other than that...) but I feel fantastic and there was definitely a sense of empowerment and excitement at my polling place.

For the purpose of full disclosure and unburdening myself, I have to tell you that I did not vote in last election. It wasn't so much that I was undecided as I was a little ticked off and disenchanted. I wasn't too lazy, I didn't care about the weather, I wasn't too busy at work. I had actually voted in the primaries but couldn't bring myself to vote in the Presidential election. I totally regret that decision. And I have thought about it a lot. By not deciding, I decided to let other people pick for me...that is so unlike me and I'll never let that happen again. That is my public promise.

I heard Tucker Carlson justifying an individual's decision not to vote on TV. He basically said that your vote is your endorsement and if you cannot endorse either candidate you should not vote. That was how I felt 4 years ago, but I realize now that I was wrong and so is Tucker (we won't even talk about the bow tie...his, not mine). It's just not that simple. What he doesn't mention and what I didn't consider is the responsibility we each hold as citizens of a country with a representative government.  I don't take for granted the freedoms that have been afforded us here, but there is a price to pay for that freedom. The price is your participation (we are getting off easy considering the price others have had to pay, right?). If you find that you are having trouble deciding between the candidates, do more research. Figure out what you have to do to get to a decision. I get that now. Luckily, picking a candidate this year was easy, easy, easy for me. I'm just saying.

OK, thanks for reading this if you made it through. I just had to share. Go vote!

Comments (17)

  1. zoe says:

    I voted and have voted every year since I was 18. Even for the small issues and on non-presidential election years. Why? Because you’re right on when you say that if you don’t vote then you’re letting someone else chose for you. Local government and state government are just as important as large elections. That is what can decide your taxes and representation on many levels. It is important to vote and we have to remember that not everyone has had that right. I consider voting a way to honour to those people that fought for those rights not so many years ago in the past.

    Okay, I am on my sopabox now! Voting is important, so go out and do it!

  2. I did! lined-up at the polls at 7am, wasn’t too crowded at all, was outta there ’round 7:30am

    cool blog btw 8)

  3. James says:

    The underlying principle, the foundation, of voting is freedom. I believe that people fought not for the right to vote, but for the right to choose, and the difference in words reflects a subtle but important difference in beliefs. I believe that not voting is a choice, a choice that, as is noted in the post and comments, is a choice to let others choose for you. I do believe in the right not to vote and respect that as still a choice. To tell someone that they should vote is to tell them to limit their choices.

    So, I simply would like to see people make a choice in this election…

  4. deepice says:

    From A Washingintoite -> "picking a candidate this year was easy, easy, easy for me. I’m just saying" -> youve given it away

  5. Heather says:

    Deepice…you got me ; )

  6. rsm says:

    Yes, but I live in a diverse neighborhood, so when they told me "You aren’t on the list.", you can imagine the laughter that ensured when I told the guy "Yeah, that’s right they see this white guy living in Jackson Ward and figure he has to be a democrat let’s suppress his vote ! So 2 hours later I voted. Peace out.

  7. Maurits says:

    There are some things I really like about the Electoral College system. One is that it favors small states over large ones. Another is that those of us in a state that is "solidly" for one candidate or another don’t really have a lot of pressure on us to vote. For example, I’m in California, which is very likely to vote for Kerry no matter who I personally vote for. This frees me to vote for a third-party candidate, or even not vote at all. Or better, wait until I see some projections of how East Coast swing states are projected to fall, before I decide.

  8. Nathan says:

    Personally, I was motivated to get out and vote in favor of the parks bond in my town. Interesting to see that Nader didn’t get on the ballot here.

  9. Ignorant people shouldn’t vote – because, like, if they don’t know anything, what are they voting for? (But, of course, no one who reads this blog falls into that category).

    Heather, sounds like you voted for the The Great Smirking One and left Lurch with a wish for better luck next time.

  10. Heather says:

    Michael-you would be incorrect sir (why would you say that?). Although I actually have too much respect for the people and the office to refer to them that way…at least in a public forum.

  11. ko says:

    No, but then again, i’ve already voted three times this year. Compulsory voting in australia means i have to and we’ve had three elections in my area this year: local, state and federal.

    Good to see that lots of people in the US are taking their vote seriously.

    Thanks for the blog Heather, it’s been great reading even when it doesn’t directly affect me here in sunny brisbane.

  12. Well, Heather, you didn’t vote four years ago. And the lack of a decisive victory led to a crisis of legitimacy. You decided that you’d unwittingly let your country down and would not do so again. And since you had a hunch that Smirk would win, you wanted to make sure that the victory would be clear cut and provide for loyalty in trying times.

    As for calling leaders by their emblematic names, this is a liberating action of free people. It’s not a sign of disrespect but democratic disadulation.

  13. Luther says:

    You know… I think Tucker has a good point, but I don’t agree with it. I would rather live in a country where 90% of the population voted and my candidate didn’t win, than a country where 20% vote and my candidate wins every time.

  14. Heather says:

    Michael- I’m not going to argue politics here, but my motivation to vote is because it;s the right hting to do, not to establish legitimacy on someone’s behalf.

  15. Maurits says:

    "democratic disadulation"… I smell a GoogleWhack in the making 😉

  16. Heather, I was only suggesting that you are a strategic voter. And you’re right: only office politics are appropriate here. So, behave yourself!

    And, hey, what’s a GOOGLEWHACK?

  17. Maurits says:


    Googlewhacking is the "search for the ONE"

    The idea is to come up with a Google search that returns a single page. One page. Not two. Not zero. One.

    There are rules.

    The search must entirely consist of two dictionary words.

    The two words must really be in the dictionary.

    Specifically, they must be in the online dictionary at dictionary.com.

    After much effort, I found a single GoogleWhack:

    arbalist ergonomics

    But there are some geniuses on the site that come up with several a day (I’m so jealous)

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