birthdays and voting

Today is my brother’s 18th birthday. I am rather jealous that he gets to vote in a presidential election within two monthes of turning 18, whereas I had to wait two years. So actually my brother and I will be voting at the same time for the same election for the first time. It’s kind of exciting.

I’m planning on taking the bus home for the elections. Some people have been asking me why I would bother doing this when I could just send in an absentee ballot. I am voting in Massachusetts, where one more vote for Kerry is unlikely to make a big difference, so the questions seems to be why I’m bothering to vote at all. I believe that the reason you vote is not just about the power of the vote itself. It’s about being the kind of person who votes. It’s about being the kind of person who puts in the effort to be an active citizen. So wouldn’t it be more useful if other people knew you were the kind of person who voted? The benifit doesn’t just come from what you do when you check the box, but from the conversation you have with the little old woman who crosses off your name, the people you see walking to the polls, and the local state representative standing outside the townhall who says hello to you. Thats the reason I want to go home to do it. It just seems like it will matter more then.

Of course this is an idea that I picked up from my dad, so I don’t get all the credit for it, but I still think it’s important.

In other news, one of the slogans we’re using on campus to try and get out the vote is: “I can vote naked” which is true if you vote absentee.

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