Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Hearing Voices
A few weeks ago, I posted the following notice on the announcements section of Blackboard:
I want you to vote. It doesn't matter if it's Democrat, Republican, Green, Peace and Freedom, or whatever. Just vote, especially November 2. All this semester I'll bring to class forms if you are interested in voting in Louisiana. They are simple to fill out, and I'll mail them for you saving you 37 cents. I think it takes 30 days to process in Louisiana, giving you plenty of time to be all set for Nov 2. If you are registered in other states, please consider voting absentee. I can help you figure out how to vote absentee if you would like.
I thought long and hard about this issue. It seems like your vote only counts in the presidential election this year if you live in a swing state, and in some cases, live in a swing county. But it seems like it is one of the few ways to express our opinion that we have left. I live in a country that thinks we are headed in the wrong direction, but prefers someone who sees all issues in a binary fashion. That is to say, even if leaders are making the wrong decisions, the fact that leaders don't see nuances or waiver is appealing to voters. This depresses me, and while I'm close to being apathetic I still try. More important, perhaps, is to try to instill in youth today the idea that their voice can be heard by voting. Thus far I've had two students fill out registration forms and I've mailed them in.
I think I could be severely depressed come November. Stay tuned.


Mark Gstohl said...

I gave my students a few minutes at the end of class today to work on their group projects. During that time, I heard a student ranting about having to take a quiz. She was complaining that I began the quiz at two minutes after class began and only gave students 5 minutes to take it. No student that was on time failed to complete the quiz. She didn't have time to finish her quiz because she came in late. Imagine that! I give the students extra time to show up for an 8am class and I'm the bad guy!
Not sure I'd want her to vote with logic like that!

Editor B said...

I saw your web page had a link to voter registration info. I then suggested such a link to the office of University Relations, and it appeared in the electronic newsletter they sent out last week. Just thought you should know that you were the inspiration.

But as they say, "If voting changed anything, it would be illegal." We don't vote because it gives us a voice; I wouldn't advise using that line to motivate young people. Our winner-takes-all system doesn't work that way. That's why we so desperately need electoral reform.

We vote because it's our civic duty. Plus, if you don't vote, you sacrifice bitching rights for the next four years.

Of course, your vote matters more in local races, so I hope you won't neglect our Sept. 18th election.