It’s not the voting that’s democracy, it’s the counting. — Tom Stoppard
It’s that time of year again where I have to select a particular stranger based on appearance, learn what I can about his or her personal characteristics, then “fill in their bubble,” if you know what I mean.
Unfortunately, this isn’t my online revelation that I’m a serial killer (that comes next week), but an introduction to the voting season.
Oh, how much lamer that is.
When I first got my ballot as an adventurous eighteen-year-old, excited to affect his community through the raw power of his vote, I just gave my ballot to my dad and asked him to fill it in for me.
Then, if I happened to walk by our mailbox in the next few weeks, I would deposit the envelope, apathetic to whether or not it arrived on time. For, as most youths, voting just seemed like a waste of time.
And I live in a state where you can mail in your ballots.
How can one vote really make a difference, when the outcomes are decided by thousands or hundreds of thousands? What does my vote matter when the winner has already been predetermined by the party lines of my city?
Of course, asking these questions to my parents only produced: “Well…You know! It’s your right! It’s just…You have—When I was 18, everyone was like…VOTING IS IMPORTANT SO DO IT!”
Yeah. Not the most persuasive advice.
However, when reading a psychology textbook in my free time (see? there are signs that I may be a serial killer—but the kind that only kills bad people and attracts beautiful women, you know, like a James Bond), I learned that when you vote, it is more than just one ballot being cast.
For when you vote, you indirectly encourage your friends to vote. And, often enough, those people share like mindsets with you. Therefore, assuming you vote, thus prompting your friends to vote (who then prompt their friends to vote), you are essentially amassing a tidal wave of votes.
The greater you “talk up” voting to your friends, then, the greater effect your “one vote” has. Of course, don’t try to proselytize them (and don’t use “proselytize” in a spoken sentence either, most people don’t know what that means…go ahead and admit you debated typing it into dictionary.com). Just mention that you’re voting, smile, and say you hope they vote, too.
And whatever you do, don’t be one of those people who act as though they’re better than everyone else because they voted.
Because I will seriously start my serial killer career with you.