I have to admit that I really like and dislike the increasing prevalence of early voting. I like that I can avoid the crowds (I voted in less than five minutes this year), and I like the convenience. I’m of two minds on the fact that it changes the political races. In the past, the last two weeks of a campaign were critical pushes that typically swayed elections toward the final results and sometimes even flipped the results entirely. Where is that now? When does that push begin? In our case, we actually received a brochure from one of the candidates that, after we confirmed it, could have changed our vote had we received it earlier. I don’t like that information came to me too late to affect my vote. At the same time, I don’t much care for the mudslinging and panic of the last few days, and I like that early voting shifts that.
But early voting is not why I’m here today. Rather, go vote. Period.
It always surprises me (I’m not sure why) when I see the voter turn out numbers. The apathy in this nation regarding the electoral process is appalling, especially since most of us will then complain about the results and the state of the nation. If you didn’t vote….
But in addition to that, the apathy extends to even those who do vote. I’m always discouraged that the very first vote you can cast in any election is a straight up vote for a party, not a candidate. Sorry if this offends, but if you cast a vote for a party (any party) and not a candidate, you are part of the problem. You didn’t take the time to understand the candidates and the issues. You bought into the ideological nonsense of party rule. Congratulations, you no longer have the right to complain about anything related to politics, and I honestly mean that.
I once thought that way–single party votes. I used to think that all Dems were bad. As recently as 2006, I bought into the idea that the Dems were going to lead this country to ruin. To be fair, I still think most of them will, but I also add most of the Repubs into that group as well. 🙂 How’s that for bi-partisan?
This year, if I remember right, I voted around 70% Republican, 20% Democrat, and the rest from third parties or independents (particularly the Libertarian party). In somewhat of a surprise, Courtney and I compared our ballots and agreed 100% down the board, which really surprised me given her even-more-conservative-than-I-am approach to politics.
But my vote still isn’t why I’m writing today. It’s about your vote. That you do it, that you do it wisely, and that, most of all and in the great American tradition, you preserve your right to complain all you want by really understanding the issues and casting votes based on your best judgment.