Friday, November 02, 2012

Why I Vote (the 2012 edition)

(This post is part of a broader idea: posts by authors, illustrators, and children's book lovers of all stripes about why we vote (not who we vote for). You can find links to this year's collection of posts over at Chasing Ray.)

Why do I vote? That always seems like a "wrong" question to me because the reality is that I can't come up with a single reason why I wouldn't vote.

I wrote in 2008 about the sense of responsibility I feel when it comes to voting, and that remains as true today as it was then. I also know that whatever the issue, from the Presidency to controversial propositions to the House to local offices, if I've skipped voting for it, it's harder for me to make a forceful argument about my positions. It's a bit like putting your money where your mouth is. And, hey, if "my" candidate doesn't win and I didn't even vote... well, I'm certainly part of the problem, not the solution.

Likewise, I've heard the idea that one vote doesn't matter. Yes, it's true that most elections aren't decided by tiny margins. Then again, each vote is "only" one vote. Collectively, they matter. And if you're not part of the collection, then you aren't part of the group that matters.

Is our voting system perfect? Of course not. Yet it is our system, and I want to be part of it, not an outsider looking in. I want to honor the lives of those who've died so that all of us who are old enough to vote get to vote regardless of race, religion, or gender. And I want to assure that all those who come after us have that right, too.

As I watch the devastation of hurricane Sandy, I'm reminded again how we all pull together... how we are, despite vast spaces between us, all part of something bigger than just our own smaller communities. To me, a Presidential election is about that, too.

So, wherever you fall on the political spectrum, I hope you exercise your right to vote. I know I will.

(Again, I hope you'll go see the roundup of posts to see the wonderful reasons why so many of us will take to the polls this coming Tuesday.)


Lee Wind, M.Ed. said...

Nice. Yeah, I can't come up with ONE good reason not to vote, and there are so many reasons to vote!

Linda B said...

If you don't vote, you give up the right to have a say!