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Nov 04

Confessions of an Uneducated Voter

I like to vote.  I registered to vote on my eighteenth birthday, and have proudly voted ever since.

(photo from Blue Nation Review)

I believe in voting.  I believe that women, especially, have to vote, because it wasn’t all that long ago that we were considered incapable of it.  I still remember the utter shock and confusion (and honestly, sense of betrayal) when I realized that was so incredibly recent – 1920.  In 1980-something, when I figured that out in history class, I was stunned.  I’m a child of the 70’s – it had simply never occurred to me that there was a time, in the not so distant past, when I would have been forbidden from voting.  I read everything I could find about the suffragette movement, and vowed that I’d never take that right for granted.

But I failed.

Not on the “taking for granted” part – but I’m not an educated voter.  Not by a long shot. At least not anymore.  I might be again, but right now, at this stage, educating myself about the people running fell to the bottom of the list of things to do. I read the questions carefully, read a couple of articles about them, discussed them with a few people.  I even wrote up the cheat sheets for my family (a tradition that dates back to high school when I wasn’t old enough to vote and wanted to desperately – I’d decide how other people in my family should vote and provide helpful cheat sheets for them to take to the polls).  I’m a Presidential Election Junkie – I love the Presidential elections.  I watch all the debates, it’s never too early to discuss the next election, and I really, really love all the ads, articles, debates and discussions that surround the Presidential elections.

But I’m utterly clueless about the local elections.  I don’t know who’s running for what.  I blithely decided who’d I’d vote for on the whole Seth Moulton/Richard Tisei match up (a local election that it turns out is not at all in my district and I can’t vote for either of them).  So I’m going to go to the voting booths this afternoon, and guess who I want to vote for.  It’s just a guess – I think I’m probably going to vote against the incumbent – because I think change is good, and I’ll probably vote for the woman who keeps dropping flyers off in my mailbox, trusting that if she inspired that many volunteers, then she’s probably okay.

I’ll take my kids to vote this afternoon, because they love it, and I’ll hope that they’ll be better voters than I am, when their time comes.  I hope they’ll pay attention to the local races, because I KNOW that this is where the decisions get made.  I know these votes count more than my carefully considered vote in the Presidential elections (especially because I live in MA – the Democrat is getting my electoral votes, MA ALWAYS goes Democrat).  I want them to vote not along party lines, but because they’ve carefully considered the candidates, and thought about the issues.

But I’m a crappy uneducated voter – and I’m a little ashamed of myself.  Those women in the picture above would not be proud today.

 

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