Monday, September 29, 2008
Last year for Christmas, I got a Bedazzler. I crafted some lightning blots onto my aprons, but the biggest test came right before Super Tuesday, when I bedazzled the word "VOTE" in rhinestones across my chest. Unfortunately, the bar was so crowded that evening that several rhinestones escaped and I occasionally became tangled in others. But, the point is, we need to do whatever we can to get people to vote and raise awareness.
Last week, I was leaving a class in the Central West End when I met a man named Richard. He had been in the paper that morning, and he proudly showed me his picture and the caption that told about him registering voters. Richard is homeless and we talked for quite some time about why people don't vote. I taught community college for many years and we talked a lot about voter apathy in my classroom. I shared with Richard some of what I had heard back then from non-voters. He told me about some of the folks he'd encountered and why he thought it was so important. Richard said that he was 46 before he was registered to vote. His parents hadn't voted and no one ever told him how easy it could be. We talked about the importance of having a voice, even a dissenting voice that might not want to vote for anything or anyone on the ballot. No matter, cast it blank. But vote.
Missouri residents have one more week to register to vote. Registration will close on Wed., Oct. 8. You can find the form here, print it out and mail it in. I also know that they have been registering folks down at the Obama headquarters in the CWE. Or, drag yourself on down to the Royale for a pint of beer while you register (3132 S. Kingshighway). You can also head to any public library, DMV, or Social Services office to register. Ask everyone you know, and bring someone in to register if it's their first time. In recent elections, we see over and over that every vote does count. Cast your ballot. Make your thoughts matter; make your voice heard. Too many people once weren't able.