This morning, I saw a video from the Rachel Maddow Show about how there's a record low in voter turnout for young voters this year (so far, at least, in early/absentee voting), and it depressed me quite a bit. Seriously? Are they just assuming Obama's won this one? Are young voters just that apathetic?
Part of me can't believe it. I've been looking forward to being able to vote since I knew what it was. When I was in middle school, we had a sort of mock election between Gore and Bush, and I went out of my way to make sure I had put a vote in. (Gore won, BTW.) My parents would take me with them to the polls and let me flip the little levers for them. I was just shy of voting age in the last presidential election, and it drove me nuts to know I had no say in what happened. I still have to yell at my parents to vote every couple of years. A mixup in voter registration two years ago meant that I didn't get to vote, and I bitched at everyone who would listen about it.
Maybe I haven't become cynical enough over the years, but I really do believe all that warm fuzzy stuff about democracy and civic duty and having a voice. I do believe that voting is one of the most important thing an individual can do to show their patriotism.
I've already voted (absentee) in this election, even though I'm voting in a state that has consistently polled for Obama in the double digits. All my friends (with one exception) who are citizens have voted in this election or will vote on election day. After a quick poll at lunch yesterday, we discovered that even though none of us were voting in the same state, we were also voting in incredibly blue states, and as such, not counting for much in the presidential election, and that's okay with us, because it's important that we vote anyway. I had a minor freakout when one of my Californian friends was filling out his absentee ballot, because of Prop 8.
Look, I realize that I'm preaching to the choir, here. And that it might be too little, too late. But if you can, please vote this year. It's important.
And now for pictures of adorable kids being involved in the political process:
What This Election Means
Girls 4 Obama