Listen to Ryan Gosling, ladies…
I’ve heard people say you are lazy or do not care. In surveys, you say you don’t vote because you don’t have time; but I know you better than you know yourself. We can do this voting thing – together.
If those survey fools were to ask you deeper questions, they’d know there are three main reasons you don’t vote:
- You don’t see the relationship between politics and your life.
- You see voting as difficult, like taking a test.
- You do not get any encouragement about voting from your friends and family.
That is all wrong, girl. People who vote feel a deeper connection to their community. They see how their vote makes a difference. They’re part of something meaningful. Voting is a lot easier and a lot more fun when you do it with the people you love, too. I’m here for you, girl.
Let’s do it together. Let’s vote.
You say it takes too much time, but I know that you just need to know your options. Did you know that you can vote by mail? Many counties in California have early voting, so you can vote on a weekend or during your lunch break before the election – instead of having to rush on election day. You can find out all your options by contacting your local elections official. Just call them. Put your address in to SmartVoter.org. At the very top of the next page, under your address, is a red “see more” link to information for your county. They can tell you all the places you can go to vote, the times, and even look up to be sure you’re registered. If not, they’ll hook you up.
You say it is inconvenient, but you’ve never done voting my way. It can be fun! Invite your friends over. Have them print out their sample ballots (just enter their address in http://www.smartvoter.org) or bring their vote by mail ballot. First, decide which candidates or measures on the ballot are most important to everyone, and start with the most important one. You don’t have to do it in order, and you don’t have to fill out the whole ballot. Keep talking as long as you’re having fun, and stop when you’re ready to stop. You might get through the whole ballot, or you might decide only to vote about the things you care about the most.
Be kind and keep your sense of humor – when people trust each other, these kinds of conversations are powerful. You might learn what matters the most to the people you love, learn what scares them, and their ideas may change the way you think about the world.
Don’t like the choices on your ballot? Find out how those things got on your ballot! Read about who put them there and why. Or find out more about the different political parties and their candidates: their platforms, their experience, who has endorsed them, and how running for political office works.
Your vote counts. You matter. Your voice is stronger than you think. And we’re all stronger together, when we encourage each other to vote. I’m with you.
Jennifer Waggoner is the President of the League of Woman Voters