Voting

This time last year I wrote about voting. Because I voted.
Many things I voted about did not go the way I voted. Silly propositions about sharia law and voting identification passed, despite my no votes. When I voted today, I encountered the consequence of the latter new law.

I had to present my driver’s license or voter registration card. Despite my love of voting, I’m really not sure where that card is. So, my license I begrudgingly displayed. I was informed that my license was set to expire in April and to make sure that it was up to date if I wanted to vote in the next election, because your driver’s license must not be expired in order to vote.

Really? Really? Because my license expires, I cease to be who I am? I don’t think so. It had always been my understanding that the expiration had more to do with keeping track of drivers rather than proving that I still am who I was four years previously. I don’t even need a birth certificate to get renewed! So what does my driver’s license expiration date have to do with my right to vote? Nothing. But because people vote with their fear (or hope of stifling others’ voices?), these nonsense rules about license’s and expiration dates apply.

Voting is a right. Not a privilege. Men have died so that I could vote, both on the battlefield and on places like a driveway in Jackson, Mississippi.  My vote isn’t being infringed. No one is questioning my right to vote. But they’re making it annoying. And laying the ground for the possibility that someday I might have to use a provisional ballet just because my license might have the wrong date on it. This is nothing compared to some of the obstacles we’ve put in front of people in the past. But I don’t think it’s right.

I am against impediments towards voting. It seems reasonable to require an ID to vote, to prove who you are. But it’s just another way to keep people away from voting. And in a country where voter turnout is consistently low, it still just seems like a plot to weed out some people from voting by making it more difficult.

The polling ladies told me I was one of the only people they’d seen at my polling place under the age of 50. And I went at 4:30 PM.

On the plus side, all the things on the ballot went the way I voted. So that’s something.

One vote. I have it. I use it. I hope I use it to help others use their votes.