It occurred to me today that it’s been almost a week since the election. Results are probably trickling in. And since I was actually on the ballot, I thought maybe I should look those results up.
I can’t really tell you if I was hoping to have won or lost. It’s nice to know people trust you enough to check that little box by your name, sure. But a race like the one I was in (PCO for O’Sullivan Dam 1) is a little like a referendum about who gets to wash the good china after Thanksgiving dinner. You won’t vote a complete idiot in, but secretly you suspect they might be one for volunteering for the job. They aren’t getting paid, they do so at considerable risk to personal comfort, and you certainly aren’t going to offer to help.
Because we all know who is going to get the blame if things get slippery.
Although, there are (questionable) perks to volunteering for the dirty work. One of them is that I have access to voter records within my precinct. And while I obviously won’t share specific information, I will share this: You would be amazed at how many people don’t vote.
My own track record is a bit spotty. Ever since they did away with physical poling places in favor of mail-in ballots, I struggle. (It was pretty hard to misplace the Grange, you know? And I didn’t have to remember a stamp.)
But people all over the world and all through time have fought and died for the right to self-government. And yet something like 58% of the people in my precinct haven’t voted in years. Only 27% turned in this most recent ballot.
I know it’s a pain to research all the candidates and issues. I know it’s a pain to keep track of the ballot and get it in the mail. That’s why I’m nagging you, again. You didn’t vote in the primaries last week. Fine; I’ve missed a few myself. But there’s another ballot coming your way in a couple months, and I’m probably not going to let up about it. Those of you who did vote gave me a green light to harass you mercilessly for the next 2 and a half years.
Okay, not really. I’m not actually looking forward to cold-calling any one of the 1600 voters in our precinct to find out where, exactly, their concerns lie, and how I can help them find their voices. Not because I don’t want to help, but because I know I tend to hang up on anyone who begins a phone call with, “Hi, I’m your local _________”. Going door-to-door doesn’t really sound much better. Or less time consuming.
But if that’s what it takes, I’ll do it. I really don’t care what side of the issues you are on or who the signs in your yard support. Get involved. Tell me how I can help if you don’t know where to start.
We can do better.