Monday, November 2, 2009


What reason do you have for not voting tomorrow? today?
  • Do you think your vote won't count?
  • Do you think your vote won't help?
  • Do you think you don't understand the issues?
  • Do you think politics is too dangerous to involve yourself in?
  • Do you think you are too busy?
And what if the answer to all those questions was "YES". Are those still good reasons not to vote? The answer is "NO".  Here's why: Every time you do or don't vote, the disposition of your ballot is recorded in a publicly available database. Here are my general election votes for 2006, 2007, 2008 queried from a recent Whatcom County voter database: 
  • Ryan Ferris 06/19/1962 2008GEN Challenged - Too Late 
  • Ryan Ferris 06/19/1962 2007GEN Voted by Mail Ballot
  • Ryan Ferris 06/19/1962 2006GEN Voted by Mail Ballot
Here's the results of a query that counts all registered voters born the same year as me (1962) who voted in the 2007 and 2008 general elections:
  • 2040 CouldHaveVoted2008Born1962.txt
  • 1734 Voted2008Born1962.txt
  • 2040 CouldHaveVoted2007Born1962.txt 
  • 908 Voted2007Born1962.txt
If you vote, even if you send in that secret ballot blank, you still affirm your power as a member of the electorate. You are still someone the body politic has to include in it's decision making calculus. You count. If you vote, you tell the people in power that you will use your vote as needed. This is a surprisingly powerful statement. A turnout as robust as the 2008 general election would tell every politico in Whatcom County that the electoral equation and profile has changed, permanently. It would send a message about the age range and needs of the electorate that could not be ignored. Participation in the vote defines generations and their demands.

So tomorrow(Tuesday November 3, 2009) VOTE!!.
Tell the world that you matter.  

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