Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Day Eighty - Stand Up and Be Counted

Register to Vote / Update Voter Registration

Just like the lottery, when it comes to voting for our elected officials, "you gotta be in it to win it". Many states, like mine, require that you register to vote one month prior to the election. Since elections will be held this year on Tuesday, November 6, 2007, that means it's show time. We've all got until October 6, 2007 to make sure our registrations are current and valid for the jurisdiction where we live.

If you've never registered before and need help, here's a great link presented by DeclareYourself.com to help you get started. It lists every state's voter laws and registration deadlines. It even gives you links directly to the states' election websites. If you've moved during the last 12 months (like me), be sure to go and update your voter registration NOW. Don't wait until November when you might end up being that poor, disenfranchised democrat that makes the nightly news. (Of course, you can ALWAYS fill out a provisional ballot, if any questions arise as to your true jurisdiction or registration).

Now I know these local races aren't nearly as exciting as the "Big Race" coming in 2008. However, the local legislative bodies are routinely faced with environmental issues that will affect your life daily. Take the next month to research the candidates whose names will appear on your ballots. Familiarize yourself with their track record, when available, or at least with their stance on environmental policies. If it all looks like jibbertygooblepuff, drop the candidate an email and ask some point-blank questions on issues like commercial development, protected watersheds, public land use... whatever you feel is most important.

There is simply NO EXCUSE for not voting. All the personal water conservation, recycling efforts, volunteering, composting and blogging doesn't mean a damn thing if we don't back it up at the polls. This is just a gentle reminder to everyone that if you don't vote, your license to bitch about policies, big and small, will be immediately revoked.

So, we've got about ten days to make sure our collective ducks are in a row. Pull out your wallet right now while you're thinking about it, and make sure you're voter registration card is in there. If not, now is the time to do something about it.

I'm serious, get off your ass, step away from the computer and check. I'll wait....



FREAKIN' GO ALREADY!


Thank you. You're a Rock Star! See you at the polls! :-)


Savings:

Possibly the planet, or at least your little corner of it.


Difficulty Level: 2 out of 5

It's only a "2" if this is your first time registering, and that's only because some states want you to register at the DMV, which is like being sentenced to three hours in HELL. However, most states let you do it all online or via mail, so for the majority of folks, it's no big sweat.

7 comments:

gregra&gar said...

One question: If voting is the only legitimate entitlement to bitch, what does that say about the illegality of the past two presidential elections. The appearance of being represented by elections is one of the fake two party system's finest cons, like the push button on the corner light pole giving pedestrians a feeling of self determination in crossing the street, although most are not even hooked up to the light, it doesn't take much to fool a fool.

Burbanmom said...

Excellent Point! However, you still have to vote, even if it is only to legitimize your right to bitch about the crooked electoral system that bought our current presidency. :-) If you REALLY want to go hard core, then you actually RUN for something!

PS... I am no doubt the most naive person you'll ever meet. I constantly push the crossing button and have more than once been asked what happened to me in my childhood to make me think that most people are good.

Anonymous said...

Amen, Erin.
love,
Uma

gregra&gar said...

Not to make too fine a point on it, my right to bitch came with my first breath, the structure of the US administration doesn't validate anything about my life, much less have my permission to decide my legitimacy dependent on my degree of allegiance, right or wrong — especially when they claim their authority as being from a god, the god, supreme last resort guy, whatever. If, in ones whole life, one has never seen one politician discuss anything more relevant to ones daily life than the superbowl, must one still choose a team just to mention that its all crap? If one doesn't live in the US, their opinions about the US don't count? Just sayin'… I'll stop now. I don't have the right to bitch. Just another illegitimate bastard.

Please see this post for how I choose personal representation before asking, expecting or demanding someone else represent me.

Burbanmom said...

I do not agree with what you say, for I feel that being part of a democracy, no matter its faults, requires one to bear the responsibility of casting their ballot for a candidate whom they feels most closely represents their views. Is the system crooked? You bet. Fucked Up? Beyond Belief. All We Got? Yessirree.

Continue to bitch, my friend, if that is your outlet. You make many excellent points and I love to hear all the different views people have to offer. And I certainly would never deny that voicing your opinions publicly is a GREAT way to express dissent.

However, I don't want to hear you complain about how FUBAR our environmental policies are unless you've done your democratic duty by at least attempting to elect the legislators who are charged with creating them.

::Stepping down off my soapbox now::

gregra&gar said...

Dear Erin, I have thought long on your last paragraph, so I could say something less offensive to you so that what I am saying doesn't launch a "Social Studies" defense of beauties of democracy. The reason I come back to this is because I think it is important for obviously good people like yourself to see how life is becoming Pavlovian in our response to the pulpit and podium.

Could you bear to hear me complain about any US policy if I've defended democracy by volunteering four years of my life to the Marines. Or complain about the environment when, rather that push the button of US procrastination by expecting someone else to make life better for me, I chose to stop driving 35 years ago, using air conditioning thirty years ago, eating a diet that grows within fifty miles of me — all before it was trendy. All before the authority of Al Gore finally woke to his responsibilities after eight years as a prime example of an ELECTED representative of the electoral system (later vitimized by the same system) and showed the sheep a better shepherd through a disaster seventeen years further down the road than when he could have done something about it.

Yeah, I guess my democratic duty has gone astray, I must hate America because I don't choose to choose one half against the other in perpetuation of the agitation. I'm not against politics, I don't want to get that close to it. Just look at the debates for the next year to see if you can find one candidate that even wants the US united. If it were they'd be out of jobs. Look at the coverage and see if the effort to be on the winning side doesn't seem much greater than voting for integrity, ie. Giuliani versus Kucinich

Sorry, this has been rumbling within me and I ramble it to you because I believe you may understand where I am coming from, unlike the trolls and political fundamentalists who are so entrenched in dogma and party line that other people are merely votes.

Burbanmom said...

Dear Gregra&Gar,

First off, it takes a hell of a lot more than a few eloquently worded paragraphs defending a legitimate view to offend me :-) Just don't call me "fat" and I think we'll be ok.

Secondly, I do absolutely understand where you are coming from. You do not want to "stand up and be counted" in a messed up society where your votes are counted by blind monkeys who declare the victor based on who his relatives are. Valid Point.

But, lastly, I still disagree with you. I believe that enough people who care about the environment do their research and go to the polls, we may still, in some small way, affect the future of our planet.

Agree to disagree on this one?

- Erin