Surviving the World

A Photocomic Education by Dante Shepherd

Lesson #762 - The Vote

Today marks the deadline for people registering to vote in the US in the November elections in some states, and other states' deadlines will quickly follow. This site has a pretty good run down on all the details, including how to register and how to access absentee ballots (if that would be a better option for you).

I really don't care who you vote for - while I've been pretty clear, time and time again, about one issue I think is incredibly important, it's irresponsible for anyone to cast a vote solely on one issue. What's worse, however, is failing to cast a vote at all. People complain all the time about politics, but when you don't vote, all you're doing is adding to the useless rhetoric instead of trying to find solutions.

You think politicans are corrupt? Well, sure! A lot of them are, and certainly on all sides of each debate. And even though your vote may not change that immediately for the more powerful positions, realize that there are a lot of local elections that you can make a difference in, and the effect of your local votes will eventually work their way up. I've cast several votes in local referendums and elections that were decided by fewer than five votes.

A lot of people don't think their votes matter - but really, that's partly because turnout in the US is always so low. If everyone voted, then third- and even fourth-party candidates would stand a decent chance. And even just casting a vote for someone other than the main two parties can help that group increase their influence in the future. So if you don't like the main two choices, at least go and vote for someone else.

Absentee balloting is really pretty easy - especially if you're in college - so look up how you can do it in your home state and participate. But you've got to be registered first, so make sure you're prepared. Encourage your friends. Do your civic duty.

It's kind of pointless to complain if you don't vote. So why not make sure you do?