Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Vote Today, Or Else

Wisconsin, today is the day.

If you signed the recall petition, that's not enough. If you support the governor with a sign in your lawn (not my cup of tea, but some do), that's not enough. The only way you can speak loudly enough is by voting. Go vote today.

The months of strife, arguing, split families, and bumper stickers come down to whether or not you vote today. If any of this election talk affected you in any way - if you have any kind of opinion about Wisconsin's future - it is worthless unless you vote.

Let's look at some numbers. Voter turnout for the 2008 presidential election - an election that was as much about race as politics itself - was about 58 percent. By comparison, France's recent presidential election earlier this year sported a voter turnout of 80 percent. Eighty. Can you imagine living in a place where so many people are willing to act to change their country - where so many use their democratic rights? Get out there and vote today.

Wisconsin, we can blow records out of the water. We already did with the recall petition, but it's the recall election that really matters. Find out where your polling place is, and then go there. Take a book, bring your iPod, haul a friend with you - don't leave just because the line is too long. That's never a good excuse, and personally, I'd be embarrassed if that was the only reason I didn't vote.

Think you can't vote because you're not registered? Wrong. You can register at the polls - here's what you need (click to enlarge):

If you've somehow managed to ignore all the politics till now, it's not too late to learn about the different sides to make an informed vote. You can try Walker's page and Barrett's page, but I usually find politically based sites are garbage. Try something like Politifact instead, which compares each side to the other fairly. You'll see on that site that pretty much every political statement is some kind of falsehood.

That ticks me off. It's also why I vote.

If you don't vote today, you lose all rights to complain about whoever is elected. You will be stuck with whoever's voted in, and won't have a chance to redo it (unless there's another recall election, which would be bizarre, and possibly illegal, now that I think about it).

Finally, the scariest, most threatening reason that Democrats should vote: in the primary election, all of the Democratic votes combined just barely beat out the total Republican votes - there was a difference of about 30,000 votes. I'm putting this down to the fact that it was a primary election and turnout was incredibly small, but it still kind of scares me, and it should scare other Democrats, too.

Vote. You have until 8 p.m. Don't let all this turmoil be for nothing.

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