PSANovember 2, 2005
So California's having this special election on November 8th. I hadn't been paying attention, I was just waiting for my absentee ballot to show up in the mail (in California you can register permanent-absentee, and there is NO excuse not to. Laziness at its finest. Your ballot shows up a few weeks prior to the election, you read it in bed, you vote using the pen you find by rummaging in the nightstand drawer, and pop it in the mailbox. No driving to the ballot-box, no dealing with traffic and lines, just you and your mailbox).
It wasn't until this week that I realized how close the election was to being here, and that I hadn't seen my ballot yet. Then I realized the awful truth - I had moved at this time last year, having already mailed my ballot right before the move. So when I did move, it didn't register (heh) that I should update my mailing address. Mail forwarding has, of course, been halted a year later, and I realized that I wouldn't be getting my absentee form, and because I'm permanent absentee, I have no polling place.
Here's my admission:
I had decided I wouldn't vote.
For the first time in my adult voting life, fifteen or so years, I wouldn't vote. It was only a little state election, no one would notice. I felt twangs of guilt that I tamped down by walking into another room and forgetting what I'd been thinking about. That's not hard for me to do. Wait. What were we talking about?
But it was niggling, and then I was made aware (thanks, MC!) of what exactly Prop 73 was about - it proposes to force teen girls to tell parents/guardians before gaining the permission to get an abortion. Guess what? It sounds like a fine idea - it would be right and good if a scared girl felt comfortable talking to her mother, telling Mom that not only was she sexually active, but she was also pregnant. But it won't happen. Girls WON'T talk to their parents, they'll go online and find ways out, and California will be facing a coat-hanger epidemic. Young girls get pregnant. They have abortions. No matter how you feel about the rightness or wrongness of that, those two facts won't change. What will change is their level of safety in California if this passes.
According to polls, it's a close one, and it's GOING to pass, tragically, with only six percent separation. You know it's not the liberals who get out there to vote on things like this, it's the conservatives that get off their butts and get out there to the polling place.
And I was almost one of the liberals who couldn't be bothered. THIS close. I called the registrar of voters in my county this afternoon (phone number easily found online) and screamed at the startled office worker, "HELP ME! Can I still vote? Please please please?" They said sure, come on down to the office and you can vote here.
If you don't know where to go, call your registrar. Unless your state/city isn't having a November election, in which case, just make sure you're registered for next time and then get yourself some ice cream and pat yourself on the back. Me, I'm going down to the office on Friday afternoon, and I'm voting.
It was so close! I was almost a non-voting loser! Whew.