Remember, remember the second of November. Why? No, it’s not just three days before your annual tradition of watching V for Vendetta in a dark room, holding an electric razor in one hand and a stick of dynamite in the other. No, it’s not just the two-day anniversary of your liver calling it quits after your run-in with Jose Cuervo Halloween night.
Why, it’s Election Day! It’s that special day that separates the Americans who aren’t allowed to complain about politics from the Americans who are: the day that separates the people who don’t vote from the people who do.
It’s not hard to spot a non-voter if you know what to look for. These are the people you see in the checkout line at Safeway who look up and suddenly mutter “Damn, I forgot to get vegetables!” but then shrug and flip through a few pages of Entertainment Weekly.
Voters, on the other hand, are the ones who take the extra two minutes to get out of line, go grab some carrots and green peppers and then walk briskly back with a calm air of dignity. Upon being asked whether they want paper or plastic, voters will say, “Paper please, and I appreciate the choice. Without it, we are nothing.”
Are you registered to vote? If you voted for Obama back in 2008 (remember that?) then you’re good. If you’re not sure, an easy way to find out is to visit: www.longdistancevoter.org. There you can verify your registration and even request an absentee ballot be sent to your current address at school. In my case, I’m having an Oregon ballot sent to my Puget Sound campus mailbox (which is 2268, ladies).
So why vote? This is a particularly prickly mid-term election. If you want to see the President get anything passed during the next two years, then you might want to help keep some Democrats (who are bracing themselves for some pretty grim losses) in the Senate.
Were you a fan of the new Health Care Bill? Want to stay on your parents’ health insurance plan until you’re 26, or not be turned away for pre-existing conditions? The GOP “repeal and replace!” motto has the political potential to undo all that. On the other hand, if you’re not crazy about Obama’s policies, now’s your chance to really stick it to him. Either way, the time to act is now.
If you want to learn more about specific measures in your state and the dirty details on your congressional candidates (and trust me, you do), type your home state name into Google followed by “Voter Guide” and see what comes up. Many states have online guides that will tell you exactly what you need to know.
So take pride in your country, take pride in your state, and don’t become part of a disappointing statistic. If I find out that more Americans voted for their favorite Glee character in a USA Today poll than they did vote in the midterm election, I swear I’m going to boycott that show. At least until next Tuesday.