Voting is fun!
I love voting. I think all NH natives do. We participate in the first primary in the nation (caucuses are a democracy hoax). We can register day of. We can meet all the candidates for state and national offices at town hall q and as. Many Presidential hopefuls strut their stuff in our Fourth of July parades. We may be one of the most homogeneous states in the union, but these libertarian hippies commuting to Boston and paying no sales tax continue to swing elections with their 4 electoral votes in all sorts of directions.
Even beyond NH’s primary, voting is fun. Voting is an opportunity to reflect on what you think, and why you think it. Reflecting is fun! Also, voting is your voice. If you don’t vote, you really can’t complain about politics. Complaining is super fun, you love complaining—so vote.
I have always assumed that other states loved voting the way granite staters do, but Paul has told me that outside of NH, primaries are for party enthusiasts only. Sad! Of course with such a decentralized systems there are many different cultural voting norms.
In Oregon voting is 100% mail in. Isn’t that crazy? A native Oregonian told us that voters were invited to sign up for permanent absentee voting. So many voters opted in that it didn’t make sense to open any poling places. Now voters get their ballots a month or so ahead of time. I’m not an Oregon voter, but I received a rather thick Voter's Pamphlet in our PO Box which explains the arguments for different measures from both sides.
Voters and people who pay for PO boxes can look over Oregon ballot choices and talk with others as they make their decisions. I’ve been told that party offices can tell when registered members haven’t voted and are prone to calling and harassing until ballots are posted. They have a very high voter turn out, because you can vote at your leisure, but also (I suspect) because voting is so fun!
In Chicago I was introduced to early voting, which made perfect sense. Chicago has so many people. Even early voting lines in Chicago can gather hour+ long waits. People wait it out though because Chicagoans love to complain and so obviously they love voting.
My sister recently moved to Florida (bless her) where I’m told they vote in churches. I think this is wild too!
Could voting inside a church influence political decision? I think so. Is it likely that a vote cast entirely by mail is prone to a few nefarious ballots? Probably. Paul filled in his ballot with his non-dominant hand and wanted me to take a picture of it and tag it as voter fraud.
Elections aren’t that fun
Oh but hasn’t this election cycle been long? Back in April during the fifth Super Duper Tuesday primary, our Canadian hiking friends said “at least next year, you’ll only need to listen to two candidates.” I was so pleased to correct my friend. Our election cycle is long, but it is not THAT long. By April 2017, indeed by next week, we’ll be released from this madhouse and into some other dusky political chamber.
By now you’ve read everything there is to read about the election. You’ve seen every video, read every leaked email, and seen the TV ads. I love spectacles, and even I am tired of the hoo-ra-ra. No one is changing any minds at this point, I can’t remember a point during the whole circus where I thought minds might possibly change. Was there ever such a time?
Even still, I am not prone to shoulder shrugging. I cannot wait and see. I like to do something when I’m experiencing even minor existential chaffing, so this election season I made phone calls. I HATE political phone calls, so I felt very uncomfortable being the jerk dialing voters, but I needed to know that people were going to go and vote!
Alas, at this point in the election season, all NH voters have stopped answering their phones. Granite staters are a stubborn and craggily bunch; we do not want to talk about our feelings! When the rare voter did answer the phone, I was always taken aback! Hello! You’re there! You’re not from around here, are you?
Of course there was a phone script to follow, but it felt so plastic and fakey fake. Plus, I was so genuinely surprised to talk to anyone that I bumbled through most of these conversations. It was a mutually painful disaster. I hope, at the very least, I was able to convey my very real conviction: Voting is so fun! Everyone should go vote!