“Dang, I’m usually first in line. Looks like I’m about 20th, and er’body looks like me!” – LAUROSELLE from the 902 area code
For me, going to the polls to vote today is a no-brainer – and for a lot of you too. And it’s starting to make me wonder whether building up lots of hype leading to elections helps or hurts us.
I mean, on one hand, the benefit is undeniable. At election time, reaching out to voters, volunteering to get the information out, holding marches and rallies, buying ads, and going full court press on the community all work together to increase turnout.
“My workers must vote before they come to work!” – LOUISE from the 704
When President Barack Obama campaigned for the 2008 election, the voting message was constantly being hammered home – in churches, schools, community centers, colleges, sorority and frat houses, concerts, comedy clubs – any where that black people gathered. I can’t imagine anything topping the push we got or gave in 2008.
“Can I still vote today if the last time I voted was before the presidential election?” – A texter from 912
So, where do we go from here? Have we conditioned people to feel like going to the polls is a huge event that has to be promoted like a concert? I’ll do that if that’s what it takes. But I wish people would just vote because it’s the right thing to do. We shouldn’t have to try to prove to the people that there are big issues that will have an impact on their lives in this particular election. That’s the case in every election. Every election is important. And we should participate in each one, whether it’s hyped up or not.
“Where my peeps at? Only black person in line at the poll.” – SHAWN from 513
Voting should be as natural as anything else you schedule in your life.
You’re going to see “For Colored Girls.” Go vote.
You’re going to fill out the forms for health insurance on your job. Go vote.
You’re going to get the barber shop every two weeks. Go vote.
You’re going to register your kids for school. Go vote.
You’re going to get your taxes done. Go vote.
You’re going to do your laundry every two days. Go vote.
You’re going to get your weave tightened (Sorry, Sybil!). Go vote!
Make it a habit, and take your kids with you every time so they won’t be made to believe goIng to the polls is an event. If they see you vote in every election – state, local. PTA – they’ll look at voting as something you do because it’s just what you do.
“Good morning, TJMS. I’m in line to vote with eight other people in Cobb County, Georgia!” – A texter from 770
That’ s the way we grew up. That’s why I’m going to the polls today. Not because it’s an all-important mid term election. Not because the country is still jacked up from what the last administration did. Not because, as John Legend pointed out this morning, there’s more poverty in this country than ever. Not even because we want to help President Obama finish what he started – and finish strong. I’m going to vote to because it’s Election Day. Every time.
“Live in the county, so the only people in line were … you know. I wish they WOULD say something. I just voted!!! Yeaaa!” – A texter from the 980