You can make excuses not to vote -- I’ve heard them all. Said a few myself.
You’re too busy. You’re not sure if you’re eligible. You don’t know how to register. Your vote won’t make a difference.
Why bother, all politicians are alike. It’s too hard to fight all the injustice.
In my many years on this planet, I’ve learned most excuses are bullshit.
- Too busy? Many states have mail-in ballots. Fill the ballot out over a soda and pizza.
- No mail in ballot? Create an event in your social media feed and invite your friends and neighbors. Carpool to the polls on Election Day – make it a tailgate-voter party.
- Attending college away from home? Ask for an absentee ballot from your local election facility. Now.
- Not sure if you’re eligible? Here are the only requirements to vote in a US election:
- Be a U.S. citizen
- Be 18 years old (to vote this year, you must be 18 years old by Nov 6)
- Live at your present address at least 30 days before an election
- Not be in jail or on parole for a felony conviction
- Not claim the right to vote elsewhere
- Don’t know how to register? Go here: https://vote.gov/
- Think your vote won’t make a difference? An election in Virginia in 2017 was a tie. The winner was decided by a coin toss. Believe me, every vote is important.
- Think all politicians are alike? Then run for office yourself. Go here: https://www.runforoffice.org/
- Concerned about voter suppression or problems in your area? Go here: https://www.aclu.org/issues/voting-rights
- Too hard to fight all the injustice? Yeah, alone it is. What you need is support. To be inspired, check out these young activists:
The Junior Newtown Action Alliance – an advocacy group led by students in Newtown. Follow them on twitter: @Junior_NAA
22×20 -- a national initiative recognizing that by 2020, 22 million teenagers will have turned 18. They want to be informed and ready. Go to: https://www.22x20.org/
You’re still disheartened. I get it. I can be, too.
To combat my apathy, I remind myself that fighting for change takes guts, courage, and time.
I remind myself that voting is a privilege earned for me by a centuries long list of activists who endured incarceration, starvation, police beatings, dog-attacks, being shot, and watching their classmates be shot.
They endured all this so we could tick a small box on a ballot and have our voices heard.
On behalf of the next generation, I make this plea: honor the Americans who fought, and continue to fight, for our right to vote.
If you’re still not convinced why you should register now and then vote on November 6th, I give you the words of Edmund Burke – “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”