When I turned 18, I registered to vote. At 18 and one day, I began my one-woman campaign to register people to vote. I asked everyone my age if they were registered. If they weren’t, I got them a voter registration application – which I picked up in bulk quantities. I never volunteered with an organization, I never asked anyone’s politics, and I didn’t take no for an answer. I believed that every citizen had the right to vote, and if they were not yet registered it was because they didn’t understand the difference they could make. Every vote counts. Every citizen’s voice can be heard. Registering means you get to choose who will represent you – which determines everything from when the snow gets plowed to if there’s a nuclear holocaust.
When I was young I supported voter registration. Now, I just support you.
I support your right not to register to vote. As long as it’s your own vote, it’s your right to withhold it. If you don’t think you can make a smart decision about the person who will represent you – on the school board, as mayor, or as president – then you need to educate yourself. But it’s also your right to not care about your future. It’s your right to be uninformed or even misinformed. You can care so little yourself – for your right to vote, travel freely, purchase a home, or buy cheap goods from China – that you aren’t willing to decide who will help create the future in which you want to live. If you choose to turn a blind eye to the world around you, then I will stand with you and your decision. If you choose to let others select the people who determine if you deserve to get clean water or breathable air, I respect that that is your choice to make. It’s a bad one, but I’ve learned that I can’t help you. I can, and do, support your right to vote. But if you don’t care enough to register yourself, then I’m not going to help you do it. Because if you don’t think it’s important to register to vote, to be able to exercise your right to change the course of history and snow removal, then I don’t trust your judgement to elect anyone.
For those who still want to vote in the 2016 Presidential Election, but don’t know how to make that happen, today is a great day to register. And here’s the place where you can sign up to vote and leave this country better than you found it.
Happy National Voter Registration Day