Election Day: Why I Don’t Vote, Why You Should & Missing Tim Russert

I do not vote because I am not an American citizen.  I am Canadian who lives and works in the United States with a Permanent Resident Alien Card.  I’m not sure why I’ve never applied for citizenship.  No reason really.  At this point my green card expires the same year my son turns 18 so I figured I would wait until then, and we could both vote for the first time together.  It’s a sweet thought, but also totally lame.

I considered myself a Democrat for a long time, and living in California, a predominately Democratic state, I never felt an urgency to vote.  My vote was not going to make a difference was my thought, which is utterly ridiculous.  Every single vote matters, and if I am going to live here, pay taxes, and suffer through the economic crisis, my vote not only matters, but is important and should be counted.

Over the years I have become more of an Independent.  I think there are scary choices from both the Republican and Democrat side.  I think there is also promise from both sides.  When I vote, and one day I will have the privilege to do so, I will not vote along political lines, as much I will vote for people who can restore our country to it’s glory.  To vote for an idiot, just because he is a member of my party, is idiotic.

I love watching election coverage on television.  I miss Tim Russert, may he rest in peace.  He was brilliant at political correspondence and always explained things in a way I not only understood, but could also hold my own in a discussion about it.  I have not found someone as good as Mr. Russert to walk me through these elections.  With ads and debates focused on lies and hate, I miss having Tim here to break it all down.

Voting is an honor.  Every single vote counts.  By “counts” of course I mean unless there is a hanging chad, in which case your vote doesn’t mean squat.  I have lived in the United States for almost twenty years.  My son is here, and these elections will affect his life too.  It is my obligation as a mother to make the world a safe place for him to grow up in, so not voting means I am not doing all I can ensure my child has a good life.

Election Day is an opportunity for the average person to make a difference.  The country is a mess, and while we can blame a lot of different people for getting us to this place, if you don’t vote, part of the blame falls on you.  I am blessed to live in the United States of America and while I am not allowed to vote, I appreciate all of you who do.  Make time today to have your voice heard.  As for who you vote for, I’m keeping the faith.