I wrote an e-mail today “to the many members of my urban tribe.” I’ll write the same message here to visitors, feed readers, friends, foes, and to tribe members not in my Gmail address book:
This is merely a reminder, a gentle prod to your ribs, and not a politically partisan overture.
I get a paycheck and health benefits, recycle, pay taxes, and have been called for jury duty in New York State. I’m still registered to vote in Connecticut. For the rest of you who have relocated to a new state since you first registered to vote or since the election in 2004—it is not too late to register to vote in your new state or to request an absentee ballot from your home state for the Presidential General Election on November 4.
I requested an absentee ballot from my home town clerk by mail last week. This website walked me through it: Long Distance Voter. It was easy. Seriously. If you’re looking for a challenge, get your voting rights squared away and then come by and help me try to fit all my clothes into my closet.
I would consider either one a personal favor.
In a way, Republican candidate Senator John McCain inspired this general petition to exercise your voting rights. Today, he opted to participate in the debate with his opponent, acceding in his actions if not with his words that, as Barack Obama said, “it’s more important than ever that we present ourselves to the American people and try to describe where we want to take the country.”
But in fact, John McCain first inspired this message when I met him four years ago, less than one month before the 2004 Presidential election. By chance, we were seated at the same table at a bicentennial celebration at the Naval Academy Prep School in Newport, Rhode Island.
He introduced himself and then asked my two friends and me, all three of us Mount Holyoke students, if we knew who we’d vote for. One declared herself undecided; the other said, “pass;” I said that I would vote for his party’s opponent, John Kerry, because I preferred his positions on education and the environment.
McCain told us that it’s important for young adults to know which issues matter to them and to vote accordingly; that it’s important for us, as young women, to cast our votes.
I did vote, Senator, and I am voting again.