Confessions of a (formerly) ignorant voter
Pull up a chair on my porch and hear my confession: I’m not the same voter I was seven years ago.
I was a run-of-the-mill, garden-variety, busy-wife-mom-and-career-woman voter. I didn’t consider myself very informed but would at least try to read up on the “big” elections because, ‘Merica and all that.
Voting is something I knew all “good” citizens did, like pay taxes, stay under the speed limit, perform jury duty, turn library books in on time (or at least, eventually). Some years ago, I think I missed a city election because I lost track of time, and well, what did my little vote matter? More about that later on.
But I was a very ignorant voter, when I showed up all those other times. Now, being ignorant isn’t necessarily a crime (Although, “Officer, I didn’t know this was still a school zone” doesn’t work. Trust me on this one.). However, ignorance is sad, but curable.
It’s sad when a voter goes to the polls and feels they need to eeny, meeny, miney, mo when selecting a candidate. Or ask the inner question: Whose name did I see signs for? Or, is this someone I know? Or, whatever things might run through an ignorant voter’s mind.
It’s sad when people think more carefully when choosing their fantasy football team, or their March Madness bracket than they do candidates.
Maybe we get a bit cynical about the whole thing, which is about as bad as being ignorant. Cynicism is just as easy to come by.
So I fast forward to the present and I am much more educated than I used to be, which is a good thing. I feel like my vote matters and I’ve been doing my best to read up on all the candidates running in the races where I can make a choice.
With the benefit of social media, within a few clicks I can find information on candidates all over the place. I can contact them directly and hear their opinions and ideas. I can watch TV and hear about the big picture stories. I can find out information from the newspaper. Ignorance is no longer an excuse for me!
I can guarantee you one thing will be true tomorrow morning, after the votes are tallied and we are sipping our morning coffee: the sun will still rise, whether Copperas Cove “still” has an EDC or whether voters okay an MDD. Stores will open for the day, traffic lights will work, the electricity will still be on and our phones will still work.
The world as we know it, will not have ended, regardless of what you hear from individuals on either side of the “alphabet soup equation.”
So what next, whatever the outcome of the election? What do we voters do? Wait until voting comes around again?
Certainly not! Stay informed, keep up with what’s going on. If you don’t understand or don’t care for what you see going on (or not going on, as the case may be), step up and ask questions. Get answers. Sometimes our questions are based on misinformation, so where better to get the answers than at the source. Show up at meetings if you can. If not, watch the vides online.
Then grill the powers-that-be and hold them all accountable. It’s our decision and “our” money, regardless of how things turn out.