The only vote that doesn’t count

NCPR is the place to be for complete  NCPR/NPR coverage of Election Night in the region and the nation
NCPR is the place to be for complete
NCPR/NPR coverage of Election Night
in the region and the nation. File Photo: Mark Kurtz

I’m a voter, faithful and enthusiastic. Ever since the franchise was extended to eighteen-year-olds just in time to break my heart with my first landslide presidential defeat, and in every election since, large or small, I’ve been part of the turnout. I turn out for library board elections and the school budget vote every time. I turn out for the off-year and for the off-off year. I vote in the primary and in the general.

I’m a reasonably informed voter. I seek out information that has high fact content and low opinion content. I try to see what candidates have done and compare it to what they say. I never watch campaign ads; I have a fast-forward button and a mute button and I approve their message.

Sometimes I pick the winning side and sometimes the losing, but I never sit out the contest. I’m one of those nervous types who wakes up in the night close to Election Day with a touch of heartburn and existential fear. Maalox doesn’t help. Only voting helps.

We’re coming up to the end of a seemingly endless campaign that has been unusually short on data and way long on ugly. The campaigns have been more loud than informative, and the fourth estate has been a little–Oh look. A squirrel.–What was I going to say about the fourth estate?

I understand. It makes it more difficult perhaps to make choices. The messiness and ugliness and meanness may make you want to turn away. The relentless effort to persuade you one way or the other, by hook or by crook, may inspire you to inflict damage on your telecommunications devices more than to cast your ballot.

But don’t. The only vote that doesn’t count is the one that isn’t cast. Get up and get out to the polls Tuesday. Stand in that line and finally have your say in the only way that will make a difference at the end of Election Day.


3 Comments on “The only vote that doesn’t count”

  1. David Duff says:

    Most of us wouldn’t let a stranger order dinner for us at a restaurant. By not voting you’re letting some stranger speak in your place. Get out and vote! Make your voice heard!

  2. Pete Klein says:

    Good post and I agree with everything stated, even if we might disagree on who we vote for.

  3. Normally in my life the World Series is an accurate predictor of results in the coming election: if the team I rooted for loses, so do my candidates. I rooted for the Cleveland Indians this year. God help us all.

    And David Duff, I love your comment about not voting being like letting a stranger order dinner for you. I have to pass this on to a relative who is addicted to eating but has never voted in her life.

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