Right off the bat let me say that I don’t plan to go into my personal politics very much on this site. I have some strongly held views that some might agree with and others might not. In person I’m more than happy to talk frankly about those beliefs. But this is a website. More so, it is a website I am using to try and convince people to buy and read my book. On both sides of the aisle there are those who refuse to engage in the acts of imagination of those who don’t agree with them. Forgive me for not wanting to court shunning by being too open about my personal beliefs. At least until I’m famous.
But I think we can all agree that voting is pretty important. But here is a dirty little secret of mine. I haven’t voted. Cue the shocked gasps and me hanging my head in shame. Sure, I’ve got reasons. Some of those reasons measure up. Some of them are really just excuses for being lazy and unprepared.
But this year I am going to vote. Partly because it is getting easier to vote overseas. Remember those excuses? Here is one of them. My first year in Japan there was an election. That year in order to get an absentee ballot I remember that it required either returning in person to apply for one or for granting power of attorney to someone to do that for me. Because both of those things are easy to do. (Hopefully those are accurate. It is what I remember.)
The second election I was so discouraged from the first time that I don’t even think I looked into it. That isn’t an excuse. That is just sad laziness.
But this year. Wow. I will even be able to vote in the primary. Partly due to Facebook. Partly due to this site. Now, if you click that site you will see which party I more identify with. If you haven’t guessed by my writing. Bu that site gives you several options for being able to vote in the Democratic primaries even if you live overseas. Me, I’ll be taking a trip to a voting station over the weekend just for the experience.
Next comes the making sure I am still registered (I know I was at some point) and then applying for my absentee ballot. If you live abroad, please take a look at what requirements are needed. For example, Georgia, my state, cuts off absentee applications 180 days before the general election. So, if I don’t take care of this before May, I’m out of luck. I won’t pretend to know if this is more or less strict than other states. I will say that every should look into what is needed to vote.
I am not one of those that think if you don’t vote you don’t deserve to complain. But I am one of those who feel apathy and inaction are some of the more politically destructive feelings to have. Yes, I see the hypocrisy. Or maybe it isn’t hypocrisy. Maybe I am just tired seeing the same brand of candidates and this year I see someone who excites me with ideas and who I believe has a real chance if only more of us get motivated and actually take part in the democratic process. Maybe seeing how low voter turnout is causing stagnation here in Japan and I don’t want that to happen in my home country. Maybe I just think it is time to make America great again.
Just kidding about that last part.
Again, if you are looking for ways to get involved in the primaries, start here for the Democratic primaries. Follow that up with searching for information on your states rules for absentee ballots.