Exercise Your Right

OK, people. Time for a pep talk.

You know what tomorrow is. And I’m not talking about those crazy Aussies and their Melbourne Cup. It’s Election Day, you weenies, and you’d better all be registered.

I’m not going to get all up in your face and tell you who to vote for in the Presidential Election. Just be sure you get out and vote for whomever you think is right. This is the most pissed off our country has been around Election Day in a while, and voter turnout promises to be huge. Make sure you’re one of them.

Helpful voting hints (from someone who has never voted in a Presidential Election and has only voted once in her life, but helped her school district‘s operations levy pass after three failed years and many cutbacks, including bussing):
+ Show up at your correct polling location
+ Bring ID and a piece of mail to confirm your voting precinct
+ Know the issues on the ballot

And speaking of, you might want to make sure you check the wording on the issues before you vote. Some issues on which I’m personally taking care to vote correctly (as presented on the Lucas County ballot):

  • Issue 1: Be it Resolved by the People of the State of Ohio: That the Constitution of the State of Ohio be amended by adopting a section to be designated as Section 11 of Article XV thereof, to read as follows:
    “Only a union between one man and one woman may be a marriage valid in or recognized by this state and its political subdivisions. This state and its political subdivisions shall not create or recognize a legal status for relationships of unmarried individuals that intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance or effect of marriage.”
    Diana’s short version: a YES vote means you support this amendment, and believe that Ohio should NOT allow marriage or civil union between same-sex couples; a NO vote means you do support either gay marriage or civil union.

  • Issue 4. CITY OF TOLEDO – PROPOSED ORDINANCE (By Initiative Petition)
    Diana’s short version: a YES vote means you would allow smoking in small eating establishments, bars, bowling alleys, etc, similar to Bowling Green’s smoking ordinance; a NO vote means you do not want smoking to be allowed in any Toledo eating establishment.

There are, of course, other issues on the ballot, such as the Toledo Public Schools levy, the Toledo Port Authority levy, the Lucas County Mental Health levy, and whether to allow various Kroger stores to sell alcohol on Sundays. You should check the ballot for your area and see what issues interest you in particular before you vote. It’s a little late now to do research, but do what you can. Don’t be uninformed.

Vote for who you want and what you want, but for God’s sake, VOTE! People endured some crazy shit throughout history so that we could have this opportunity to decide who should run our country. I’ll stop short of getting all patriotic on your collective asses, because it doesn’t exactly become me, but just remember all the forwards you’ve read about What Happened To The Signers Of The Declaration Of Independence and all that sort of thing.

And chew on this: my Granny’s mother didn’t even have the right to vote! Women didn’t get to vote until the 19th Amendment was passed in 1920. And how about all of our “colored” friends? Their great-great-great grandparents were the first ones in their families with the right to vote (due to the 15th Amendment, ratified 1870), although they probably didn’t really feel free to vote. It wasn’t until the 1960’s—yep, for our friends’ parents and grandparents—that the Voting Rights Act was passed, making the voting process more equitable for all, including blacks and poor whites (which my family certainly would have been).

Government for the People, by the People. All Men are created Equal. Amazing how long it took for those simple ideas to really be comprehended and acted upon. Amazing how often they still aren’t.

*looks around sheepishly from her soapbox*

So, um… please, go out and vote. The polls are open from 6:30am to 7:30pm tomorrow. I’m going after work, and my polling location is less than a mile from my house. Sounds a lot better than driving a horse and buggy all day to vote in the 1800-something election, don’t you agree?

*steps down from soapbox*

One thought on “Exercise Your Right

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  1. While it is certainly my right to NOT vote, living in East Tennessee has prompted me to buck the local trend and PROUDLY declare my support for Kerry. I even converted one, though not through subterfuge: I merely stated the obvious and she came to the conclusion that her parents were trying to buffalo her… Anyway, now that I’m teaching classes at a university, it is an amazingly exciting process watching young minds examine the issues and prepare to vote.

    Don’t consider your patriotism or soapbox poorly for an instant: the world could use more who stand up for what they mean, and really mean what they stand up for.