11/06/2006

Vote!


About a month ago I woke up in a panic. I was certain it was Election Day and I was totally unprepared, about the only thing I was certain of was that I was going to be voting for Chris Daly as my supervisor again. I called my boss on my way to the polling station and left a message saying that I forgot it was Election Day and I was going to be late. I saw a cute guy walking around the corner with a dog, I thought, "Aww, cute voting guy, I'll smile at him because I bet he just voted." But I got to my polling station and the doors were shut, there was no sign in front of the building written in marker which said 'Polling Station! Vote here!' I was confused. Then I realized it was a Thursday. Then I realized that the election was in November. I unnecessarily called my boss back and left a message saying I was wrong, it wasn't election day and I would be there on time. The whole thing sort of made me feel a little shameful about how uninvolved I was in politics these days. For a good ten minutes I genuinely became nostalgic for the non-profit I used to work at, where it was part of our job to be well-informed citizens with opinions on issues, especially around election time. I don't miss the busted bathrooms and having to manage grown-ups that acted like children, but I do miss the political atmosphere of that place. I miss how inspired I was by people who volunteered hours and hours of their time just to sit in a phone bank and call apathetic voters who were pissed off you would even think of interrupting their favorite TV show, all in the hopes of reaching one person who would actually listen and place a more informed vote.

A few days ago I saw an article about a ballot measure in Arizona which will determine whether or not Arizona voters would essenitally recieve a lottery ticket just for showing up at the polls. If the measure passes (and you want to place bets it won't?) one lucky voter in Arizona will win one million dollars for voting. I don't even think I'm able to comprehend just how many layers of wrong this is. There are people who will be voting just to get a fucking lottery ticket. The state is essentially bribing people to get off their fat asses and vote on issues that effect their lives, their children’s lives and the rest of the world. Damn America, that's sad. Not to get all preachy and on my soap box (I sort of already have, huh?) but it’s our civic duty to vote, and it's really a sorry state of affairs when we need to come up with cute ways to convince citizens to go to the polls. If the chance of winning one million dollars is what's bringing someone to the polls, you think they're going to place well informed votes?

Also, something else that should get you riled up, if you're a woman, you haven't even had the right to vote for 100 years yet. The 19th amendment, which prohibited both the federal government and the states from using a person's sex as a qualification to vote, was passed in 1920. And something far more disturbing, if you're a person of color, you didn't recieve the right to vote until 1964 when Universal Suffrage was passed all over the US. Universal suffrage gave the right to vote to everyone, regardless of race, sex, belief, or economic or social status, and the South didn't pass this until 1964. 1964.

All this to say that tomorrow is Election Day. Vote. Please. If you're in SF Blue Space will be holding an election night viewing. Oh and one last thing, that completely epitomizes why I love living in San Francisco, tomorrow, on the ballot, we will actually be voting on the Impeachment of Bush and Cheney, it's proposition J and you can bet your ass I'm voting yes.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

i love you

mewannabe said...

it sure was good to have our own little cramming session on the ballot issues--i feel like a well informed voter going to the polls. but i dont feel like a millionare...hmmm, maybe i'll move to arimoneyzona!?

Anonymous said...

I think that second 1964 deserves an exclemation point!
Jules