"Properly practiced, knitting soothes the troubled spirit, and it doesn't hurt the untroubled spirit either." ~ Elizabeth Zimmerman


Why I Didn't Vote

Yesterday was election day. I didn't vote. I was planning to. Even drove toward the voting place. Changed my mind and went home instead.

I've said this before (and I'll probably say it again), I grew up in an extremist religious cult. My parents joined it when I was just a baby and I was in it until August of 1997 when Sweet Hubby and I finally got the courage to leave. It is the best thing we ever did.

We were not allowed to vote in our church. The reasoning was that we were not citizens of this earth, but of Gods kingdom. Besides, God chooses the leaders of this world, not us. So we had no business voting. From that point of view, I can understand why we didn't vote. However, it was always something I wanted to do.

Now that we're no longer part of that way of thinking, I registered to vote. I was quite excited. I could hardly wait for election day. My first big election was the 2000 Presidential one--with George Bush, Al Gore, and the big Florida hanging chad debacle.

Wow, is voting ever a big disappointment. I got to the polling place I was assigned, they handed me my ballot and.... what? There was stuff on that ballot I knew absolutely nothing about. I didn't even know it was going to be on the ballot. That was a huge surprise. I chalked it up to the fact that I'd just registered a few weeks before the election and because of that I'd missed out on whatever info must have been given to everyone else. I did the best I could with what scant information was on the ballot, and turned it in. I was quite proud of myself and wore my little "I Voted" sticker for at least a week.

Since then voting has become a hassle. Why? Because of the severe lack of information given to voters. When I registered I had this crazy idea that all the folks with stuff on the ballots somehow informed all the registered voters--I figured maybe by mail--about their propositions, proposals, and positions of office they all wanted and why I should vote for it/them, and opposing groups would send the same info as to why I shouldn't vote for it/them. That would give me something to start with and I could do some research from there. Ha! I was so naive.

That doesn't happen. Time and time again election days have come and gone and I haven't even known what's on the ballot until I read it. It's not for lack of me trying to find out either. I search the internet, talk to friends, scan the newspapers. The only things I hear about are the things like running for Mayor or State Representative, something big like that--where we get to see every corner in town littered with dozens of the little campaign signs. (Sweet Hubby calls them sign gardens.) It's very very very frustrating for me because I want to vote, and I want to make an informed choice for my vote.

So, what happened yesterday? As I was driving toward my assigned polling place I kept thinking about the fact that I did not know of one item that was going to be on that ballot (or even if there was going to be a ballot). Not ONE! I had no idea what was up for the day. I thought to myself, "Why am I doing this? I can't make a decision on who or what I'm gonna vote for if I don't even know what's going to be on the ballot? I won't know a damn thing about any of it. How in the heck can I make an informed decision on where to put my important vote under those circumstances? This is a joke."

They say that it's important for us to get out and vote. But no one gets us any information so we can choose what we want to vote for. That tells me my vote isn't worth anything, at least, not here where I live. Would it be so hard for the sponsors of bills, propositions, levys, and whatnot to get the voter list and send something in the mail to each registered voter explaining the whats, whys, and wherefores? It should be required! I mean, where is all that campaign money going anyway?

They say voter apathy is at an all time high. It's not apathy folks! It's frustration. In the past few years I've talked to lots of friends and family who are registered voters and didn't bother to vote. It wasn't apathy. It was a severe lack of information. I frequently hear the question "Do we have anything on the ballot this year?" in conversations. That is a crying shame for a democratic country.

I promptly turned around and went home.

I wonder if it's like that in the whole country, or just here?

I did go to bead group yesterday. I worked on a beaded ornament cover in black and silver. It's coming along nicely. It was just me and C too, so we had some good conversation.

Morgan is doing great! He's actually playing with his toys, and running around in the yard. He hasn't done that in ages. I have my Morgster back! It's sweet!

Today I have Spinning Club and Knit Wits. Gonna be a busy busy day.

Have a good one.


  1. Now, I am not trying to sound snarky: Voting is a privilige and our responsibility to find out what is going on. Having said that you can get information from many non-partisian sources: The League of Women Voters, e-democracy.org and also a list of groups that provide election information is available at www.lib.washington.edu. Try them out and see what you think. It only works if we participate. i commend you for trying and maybe next time you will make it to the polls! (p.S. In my state we receive written ballots in the mail two weeks before the elections and it explains the propositions and where everything is located in the voting booth. Check with you county government to see if they provide this information. Your county government is responsible for all voting and registration activities.)

  2. So glad Morgan is getting back to his old self!

  3. Thanks Donna. I looked into the county thing. As it turns out, I wasn't supposed to vote anyway. The only thing local was city mayor and since I don't live in the city I was not eligible to vote. That makes me feel better.

    I recognize voting is a privilege and a responsibility. That's why it's been so frustrating for me.

  4. Our county puts out a voter handbook a week or two before every election. It's roughly a 100-page book that details all the elections, who's running, what the propositions and initiatives are. Our local paper runs a series in the opinion section in the same time frame, picking several of the bigger battles and doing a "pro and con" story. Call your election board and find out if they have a voter handbook, you just might not be on their mailing list. And call or write to the paper editor to recommend they do this.
    I'd also think about doing a home ballot. Every state has this option, you just sign up to vote absentee and they mail it to you. We do this, and it gives us the time we need to research stuff.

  5. Latah county would send me an "information packet" with view points of the two sides on an issue. I never voted on the issues because public schools were not my issue in a town I hardly lived in. But they did distribute information.

    I'm surprised that you don't get pamphlets in the mail on issues.