Before my maternal grandfather, a taciturn businessman from Oregon, married my grandmother, he allegedly told her, “I don’t care if you’re Catholic, but you’d better vote Republican.”
I don’t know if the story is true, and I don’t know how my grandmother voted. After all, she gave my mother the middle name “Frances” in honor of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, because my mother was born on the day that Roosevelt was first inaugurated.
But obviously, there has been tension in my family over the years around both politics and religion . . . tension that persists into current generations.
Which is why I intend to keep this blog away from both politics and religion.
I don’t consider urging people to vote to be a political statement. Voting is a right, a responsibility, and a privilege for every American, regardless of political persuasion.
I try to vote in every election. I’m always upset when I forget, even when the ballot only contains local issues or candidates I don’t know.
In the past, I’ve helped with voter registration drives. I believe that my right to vote is only as good as your right, so I want everyone to be able to vote, even when I know they disagree with me. In fact, I have probably registered more people to vote who disagree with me than those who agree.
There’s still time to register to vote in both Missouri and Kansas before the upcoming November 6 general election. If you’re not registered to vote or have recently moved, register now. Don’t be turned away in November because your registration is out of date.
In Missouri, you have until October 10 to register. Instructions for registering to vote are on the Missouri Secretary of State website. You can fill out the Missouri Voter Registration Application found on this webpage, or you can go to your local election authority or a Department of Motor Vehicles office or many other state agencies.
In Kansas, you can also get your registration form online at the Vote Kansas site or at your county election office and other government offices. In Kansas, the deadline to register to vote in this November general election is October 16.
Although it is easy to register to vote in both Missouri and Kansas, these states don’t make it as easy as some states. In Washington State, you will soon be able to register via Facebook, according to the Seattle Times.
I’ve been a pollworker in my precinct since the 2008 General Election. I saw a Kansas City Star article about the need for more pollworkers that summer and called the Clay County Board of Elections, where I live. The training was easy, and I’ve worked most elections in the last four years.
Sometimes it is boring (only 100 voters in the thirteen hours that the polls are open), but on general election days we have over 1000 voters in our precinct. I’m expecting a large turnout this November.
And that’s not a political statement either. Just my hope.