You’re going to vote… right?

Tell your network:

Tell your network:

You’re going to vote this November. Right?

After all, you’re already registered to vote… Right??

You’ve even gone on and confirmed that your registration is up-to-date. Right???

Ah, of course you’re going to vote. Because if there’s anything that makes no sense, it’s people who don’t vote.

Now, people who do vote? They have lots of reasons: they care about their community, like having an influence, believe it’s their civic duty, and feel a sense of responsibility. They have opinions! And want to make them matter!

Those excuses to not vote? I’ve yet to hear one that’s not utter nonsense.

The Big Picture excuse:
“My one vote can’t possibly make a difference.”
Why this is utter nonsense:
First of all, your vote is actually just as impactful as anyone else’s in the state.  Think about that – because this is possibly the only time in your life where everyone has exactly equal influence. Second, your one vote does make a difference. Because it is yours. And if you don’t cast it, no one else can do it for you. And last but not least, there have been many razor-thin elections in Oregon, where just a few votes did make the difference. (Several local measures in this year’s primary election were decided by fewer than 20 votes!) Imagine if that’s the case this year – your vote most certainly makes a difference.

The Uninformed excuse:
“I don’t know enough to vote.”
Why this is utter nonsense:
First of all, this is really easy to remedy! My guess is that you use google and wikipedia about a million times each week. You are an informal research expert! And, frankly, getting informed on election decisions is far easier than googling for how many seeds pomegranates have. (For the record, it’s allegedly 613.) You can download a free voter guide app or ask for a voter guide in the mail, so you can read up on what trusted organizations recommend/endorse.

The Conspiracy Theory excuse:
“The election is rigged anyway.”
Why this is utter nonsense:
This is just crazy. No one is throwing your vote out. But if you really do believe this, let me ask you this – are you so sure that the election is rigged that it’s better not to vote at all? You, who trust nothing, have complete faith in this one conspiracy theory? Because I don’t believe that you are confident enough that your vote will be ripped up while Evil Election Stealers laugh maniacally and stuff the ballot box with their phony ballots that you can’t spare 5 minutes to vote. And let’s be honest about the fact that you likely spend more than 10x that amount of time surfing facebook every single day.

So, let’s brush our hands clean, as we can all agree that there’s no good reason not to vote.

But here’s the thing. Despite this flawless reasoning, there are still people not voting. And it’s because of none of the reasons above, but something far simpler: they’re just not registered to vote.

Oregon had its highest number of registered voters in 2008 than ever before, with over 2,153,000 voters on the rolls. That meant that 77% of eligible Oregonians were registered! That was great…. but in the grand scheme of things, it still meant that 1 out of every 4 eligible Oregonians weren’t registered.

And since 2008, voters have fallen of the rolls. Despite astronomical numbers of new registered voters, due to amazing voter reg efforts by the Oregon Student Association, the Bus Project, and community groups led by Oregon Voice, we still have fewer Oregonians registered to vote now than we did four years ago.

So there are a few things you can do. First, make sure you’re registered to vote. (If you’re already registered, make sure your information is up-to-date.) Second, talk to your friends and family to make sure they are registered. And third, come be part of the community efforts to register Oregonians. Defend Oregon is launching voter registration events all weekend, in different parts of the state. You can read about those here.

And, of course, don’t forget to vote.

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