This upcoming election day I will do something I've never done. No, it's not vote for a Democrat, or a Republican. I have voted for many candidates from both the major and third parties.
For the first time in my adult life, I will not be voting. This is a very weird feeling for me. It's not that I can't make up my mind, or I'm protesting because the candidate of my choice isn't on the ballot. It's because I will be out of town for a last minute business trip. I just found out about it last Thursday and I didn't dawn on me that I will be on a thousand miles away from my local polling place until last Friday.
Sure I have time to submit an absentee ballot, but that would be against my principles and make me a hypocrite. You see I firmly believe that, unless you are confined to a hospital bed or are in the military, you should not be able to vote absentee. There is no other excuse for not being able to vote on election day in person. No exceptions.
I know many people will disagree (many have) with me on this. So below is a FAQ style answer to some of the common reasons people have discussed with me before and my responses.
Q: What about retirees who winter in another state?
A: They can come back and vote, or claim residency in that other state.
Q: What about somebody who moved and forgot to register?
A: Too bad, they should have been more responsible.
Q: What about somebody who JUST moved to a new place?
A: Again, too bad, they should have been more responsible. Many states have same day registration, if not the process doesn't take that long. You found the time to find a new place to live, get utilities, get mail sent to your new address, arrange for garbage pick up, and most likely cable or satellite TV. If you can find time for those things, you should have been responsible enough to register to vote.
Q: What if someone goes somewhere for vacation?
A: If going on vacation is more important to you than voting, then you're going to miss out on voting.
Q: What if someone works out of state?
A: Come back and vote, or claim residency in that other state.
Q: What if someone goes somewhere for a business trip? (like what I'm doing next week)
A: If going on a business trip is more important to you than voting, then you're going to miss out on voting. (like what I'm doing next week)
Q: What about an unavoidable emergency?
A: That one is unfortunate, but unavoidable emergencies don't happen all that often. If they truly did, we would have election week, not election day.
I strongly feel that there are few things more important than voting. It is a major responsibility and should not be taken lightly. Some will say that, that is the very reason for allowing absentee voting. They do make a very valid point. But I argue that making voting easier takes away from the commitment one should take in making their voice heard. Besides there are too many problems with absentee voting, both fraudulent and accidental errors happen too often.
Therefore, because I'm a man of my word, I will uphold my strong beliefs of voting... by not voting.