Yes on voting!

3 Nov

ivoted{Image via Fred Benenson/Flickr}

Working for several years at a museum dedicated to the U.S. Constitution instilled in me a devotion to civic engagement.* I learned that good government requires “we the people” to be good citizens. There are myriad ways to be a good citizen, but one of the most powerful ways is to vote.

So of course I love this video from the Green brothers about why we should vote:

I will sheepishly admit that I haven’t been well-versed in the positions and records of the candidates in tomorrow’s elections, and I regret I didn’t immerse myself in the election process earlier so that I could perhaps get more involved in a campaign. (Can I use the excuse that we move nearly every year?) But I think a lot of people are in a similar situation, so let me tell you what I did: I checked Can I Vote to make sure I was registered. I spent about two hours researching each of the candidates’ websites, skimming various news articles about them, and checking out a local voters guide. I wrote down a sample ballot to bring to the polls, and I’m actually excited about some of the choices. And you know what? I think that still counts as being a good citizen.

Then again, voting isn’t, or shouldn’t be, about sanctimoniously proving to others you’re a good citizen. It’s about recognizing that your voice matters** and showing your elected officials–the people who are supposed to represent you–what you think is important for the community and country. So. Before I devolve into paragraphs about the grandeur of popular sovereignty and purple mountain majesties, here’s the important information–the handy Voter Information Tool created by WordPress and the Pew Charitable Trusts (also available as an iPhone or Android app):

 

Happy Election Day eve, America.

 

* Credit should also go to my Scoutmaster father and elementary-school-art-docent mom who taught me to read the newspaper every day, and to my church for reminding me every election cycle to vote, and I’m sure other people.

** Unless you’re a felon or former felon in most states. Which seems unfortunate to me, since civic participation has been linked with lower recidivism rates.

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