No Pencil Required. No Chads to Hang.
Right now on TV is a show about the last days of the DDR (East Germany). Since B lived the first thirty years of his life under this regime, he's always interested in this topic.
"Look! Look! Look at how we had to vote! You didn't mark the ballot - all you did was fold it over and throw it in the box. We even called it 'going to fold' instead of 'going to vote'. 'I'm going to go fold now!'"
"What? You didn't check or circle any names?"
"No. It was just a list of names and you folded the paper over and that was it. You could cross through names or just make a big X over everything on the list and it would still count as a 'yes' vote."
"So all the people on the ballot won?"
"Yeah. It was a list of all the people running for office - for a seat in the government - and that's who you voted for. You didn't run if you weren't going to be one of the winners. There were no losers on the ballot. Look! They're showing a ballot right now! That list of people were who you were voting for and they all won. Now sometimes you could check yes or no to a question."
"What was the question?"
"Are you for world peace?"
"Who in the world would check 'no' to that question?"
"No one, of course. It was all just some shit. To make you think you were expressing an opinion with your vote, I guess. Like if you didn't vote and check yes you were really against world peace."
"What was the point of voting then?"
"That's just it. There was no point to voting! Isn't that funny?"
"No. That's sick. It's perverse and sick to call your nation 'democratic' - to have it in the name of your country - and it not be even close to an actual democracy."
"I agree. I agree. And what was worse is that we were required to vote. You had to do it. Remember me telling you that after my accident I refused to vote because they wouldn't give me my proper disability pension? They - the party people - came to me and demanded that I vote. It was all such a joke. Vote? Vote for what? I said to them, 'What are you going to do? Put me in jail? You give me my money and then I'll vote!' and my dad was freaking out that they'd put him in jail because I wouldn't vote."
"Did you get your money?"
"Eventually. But I still wouldn't vote."
If you're a US citizen, you need to always remember how precious your vote is. How important it is. It isn't just lip service. It really does have an impact on your nation and on the world. And this election cycle it could be even more important because this could be a very close election. Don't waste this opportunity.
There are just three weeks left before the US election. If you haven't registered and still have an opportunity to, do it. And when election day arrives, go vote. Don't give away a right that others around the world have struggled to have for themselves.