Every year, around this time, we write an editorial encouraging our readers to vote. Most years, a couple of weeks from now, we end up just a little disappointed at how few of us did.
That is probably not accurate – we lack the tools to measure how many of our actual readers voted – so it is more appropriate to say that we are nearly always disappointed in the overall turnout.
So this year, for the Nov. 6 elections, we are going to come at this a bit differently.
First, we are not simply asking you to vote. We assume that if you are this far into our “get out the vote” editorial then you are already on board as a voter. That is awesome, and we applaud you but you are not done.
Do not stop at the act of voting. We are asking you to be a voting evangelist. We want you to be a zealous advocate for the democratic requirement that the citizenry must cast a ballot.
Here are some examples of how you can do that: Remember that argument you got into last week on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter with that annoyingly liberal/conservative/libertarian friend of yours? Go back to that post and challenge that person to “decide this at the ballot box!”
How about the neighbor to your right who wears that red MAGA hat while cutting the grass? Or the neighbor to the left who will never remove their Hillary bumper sticker? Make sure you say to those people that you will see them at the polling place.
Your book club? Remind them about the election. Your poker buddies, PTA, church group, bowling team – mention to each of them that you hold the opinion that voting is critical to a democracy. Be vocal, advocate.
Some of those people are going to ask why you feel that way. Do not go down the civic responsibility route. We have tried, many have tried, and people ain’t buying. Instead, answer in a way they can understand and that we can all understand: enlightened self-interest.
Why should you vote? Because it is your responsibility to the country/state/county/city/neighborhood that you live in? Sure, but more importantly you should vote because it is in your own best interest.
Do you or does a family member have a medical condition that might be aided through the legalization of medical marijuana? Then, you should vote.
Does the thought of medical marijuana becoming legal scare you to death? Then, you better show up on Nov. 6 and vote.
If medical marijuana is legalized, do you care how much it costs or at least how ludicrous the taxes are on it? Better vote.
What about roads, do you drive on them? Do you put gas in your car in order to drive one the roads? Have you ever hit a pothole and wondered how it was repaired? Well then, you should vote.
Do you have a child in public school and worry about how that school is funded? Do you have a child in private school and worry about how public schools keep getting funded? You really need to show up and vote.
How about the election process itself. Do you think more or less money should flow into campaigns? Are you concerned about lobbyists having too much or too little power? Do you think the way we pick the districts represented should be changed? Here is an idea: vote!
As a society, in 2018, we love to argue. We love to pick and claw and scratch and pour salt. On Nov. 6, we can do more than that. We can vote, and we can win.
Get out and vote. Tell your friends.