Essay on the need to VOTE

Susan Klickman susankklickman@yahoo.com via coffeepartyaustin.org Oct 30th

Haven’t attended meetings in quite sometime but members may also want to become familiar with the historical voter turnout in their particular precinct.  They may be shocked. Was an election Judge in my particular precinct, 263, several months ago and frankly I was shocked when it came to my attention that historical voter turnout here is 6-7%. That is simply outrageous.  263 may not exercise much civic responsibility but they are not having to use public transportation to get to work either. The turnout is so low, my lifelong party doesn’t even submit nominations to Travis county for election staff. I had to apply for a position and then they wanted me to do a job I had never done before. Being a social worker and a woman, I naturally said sure, I can do that!

Being a “retired” social worker, I can’t help but wanting to shake someone at the same time saying Vote, Vote, Vote.  While I have my preferences, my first preference is that the potential electorate fulfill their civic responsibility/obligations and stop moaning about how awful things are.  They are only going to stay counterproductive, if we the people sit this one out cause it is just not convenient or aren’t sure who/what to vote for.  Time is running out folks. Pay attention!  Take a stand!. THE TIME IS NOW.  GET INFORMED ON AS MANY CANDIDATES, PROPS, ISSUES as possible and vote.  It is OK to skip some of the items, if necessary.  Not voting for or against particular candidates/issues is informative information just as is expressing your preference. The ballot is long and your parents/children will not know how you performed unless you opt to tell them or request their assistance when casting your vote.

Being an election worker is hard work, even when the turnout is lower than hoped for.  The amount of information that has to be mastered is significant, setting up the machines so they work when they are turned on at 7AM can be tricky especially when a co-judge seems to have either had a hearing malfunction, did not pay attention when those instructions were trained/reviewed or possibly lost their election manual, the paperwork is tedious and the day is long.  I was up and in work mode at 5:45 am and got home at 9:45 pm.  Lunch break was less than 30 minutes and Travis county says I get to keep (read must) certain records related to that primary for 2 years. Oh, don’t think I have ever smiled for so long in my entire life.

Poll watchers are needed, particular geographic areas could really use help with transportation to and from the polls, many people have heard a bunch of misinformation as to what documents are needed in order to be able to vote, where to vote etc.  Both the Reds and the Blues as well as the LIBS and Greens are looking for volunteers and welcome your stopping by ready to work at whatever is needed whenever you can.  Many young, less experienced citizens need to be encouraged to vote and may want a ride on election day. They can’t vote once the polls are closed so making an appointment to go vote helps to get out the vote.  To my knowledge the only voter app is by snail mail or to just suit up and show up at the correct polling place.

To those who proclaim we need to take back our country/state, I say we need to fulfill our civic responsibility.  Neither Texas or the USA is lost. The citizens have just failed to be responsible citizens.

There are lots of opportunities out there.

PS.  I wear my button that reads, ” I’ll believe corporations are people when Texas executes one”.  It gets plenty of attention and most people seem to get the message real quick.

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