Your Right to Vote

Did you really think I would write an entire blog post about exercise?

Five days a week, eight hours a day, I ask the same question:

Do you want to register to vote?

Many people new to the state are happy they don't have to make another stop or fill out any other papers to get registered in their new home. Some people say, "No thank you, I'm already a registered voter." Some people are worried that me asking this question signifies they aren't registered and say, "I thought I was already registered, I got a ballot for the last election. Does it say I'm not registered?" Some people simply answer no, yes, or not today. 

Unfortunately, roughly 40% of people (I am estimating) say something that makes me grit my teeth ad challenges my naturally friendly disposition. Yesterday was a slow day at work. I asked the question far less than normal, but in just one day, I heard the following things come out of people's mouths:

"I don't watch the news, so I don't vote."
"I've never voted."
"No one I vote for every wins, so I don't vote anymore."
"I don't agree with politics, so I don't vote."
"I only vote every four years."
"I don't think I need to—my parent's vote."
"There's nobody good to vote for."

These comments were made by a diverse group of people—from a young college student to a professional engineer. And they are not alone—I hear similar things every week from young professionals, farmers, retirees, stay-at-home moms, truck drivers, health professionals, etc...

I firmly believe that we allow other people to make decisions for ourselves and our country by not exercising our right to vote. It is so hard to keep a smile on my face and continue as normal when I hear people being so jaded or nonchalant about their voting rights.

In the coming year, I am going to take as many opportunities as I can to raise awareness about voting rights and registration. I plan on volunteering to educate people in my community about where and how to register, what it means to be a registered voter, and how their vote can make a difference.