Exercise Your Right To Vote

Before my maternal grandfather, a taciturn businessman from Oregon, married my grandmother, he allegedly told her, “I don’t care if you’re Catholic, but you’d better vote Republican.”

I don’t know if the story is true, and I don’t know how my grandmother voted. After all, she gave my mother the middle name “Frances” in honor of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, because my mother was born on the day that Roosevelt was first inaugurated.

But obviously, there has been tension in my family over the years around both politics and religion . . . tension that persists into current generations.

Which is why I intend to keep this blog away from both politics and religion.

But I will advocate that everyone who is eligible register to vote. And that people exercise their right to vote.

I don’t consider urging people to vote to be a political statement. Voting is a right, a responsibility, and a privilege for every American, regardless of political persuasion.

I try to vote in every election. I’m always upset when I forget, even when the ballot only contains local issues or candidates I don’t know.

In the past, I’ve helped with voter registration drives. I believe that my right to vote is only as good as your right, so I want everyone to be able to vote, even when I know they disagree with me. In fact, I have probably registered more people to vote who disagree with me than those who agree.

There’s still time to register to vote in both Missouri and Kansas before the upcoming November 6 general election.  If you’re not registered to vote or have recently moved, register now. Don’t be turned away in November because your registration is out of date.

In Missouri, you have until October 10 to register. Instructions for registering to vote are on the Missouri Secretary of State website.  You can fill out the Missouri Voter Registration Application found on this webpage, or you can go to your local election authority or a Department of Motor Vehicles office or many other state agencies.

In Kansas, you can also get your registration form online at the Vote Kansas site  or at your county election office and other government offices.  In Kansas, the deadline to register to vote in this November general election is October 16.

Although it is easy to register to vote in both Missouri and Kansas, these states don’t make it as easy as some states. In Washington State, you will soon be able to register via Facebook, according to the Seattle Times.

I’ve been a pollworker in my precinct since the 2008 General Election. I saw a Kansas City Star article about the need for more pollworkers that summer and called the Clay County Board of Elections, where I live. The training was easy, and I’ve worked most elections in the last four years.

Sometimes it is boring (only 100 voters in the thirteen hours that the polls are open), but on general election days we have over 1000 voters in our precinct. I’m expecting a large turnout this November.

And that’s not a political statement either. Just my hope.

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0 Comments

  1. Very tactfully exressed, Theresa. I agree it is an American privilege. Are you sure we are not members of the same family? I used to work the polls and was also a committee woman for my ward. Stimulating to be part of it, isn’t it? Good info, thanks.

  2. Very tactfully exressed, Theresa. I agree it is an American privilege. Are you sure we are not members of the same family? I used to work the polls and was also a committee woman for my ward. Stimulating to be part of it, isn’t it? Good info, thanks.

  3. I agree, Theresa. I expect the vote to be heavy this next election. In the primary we had almost 300 people vote in person and about 150 vote advanced. VOTE y’all!

  4. I agree, Theresa. I expect the vote to be heavy this next election. In the primary we had almost 300 people vote in person and about 150 vote advanced. VOTE y’all!

  5. Thanks, Theresa. This fits in well with your Story and History theme!

    My mother was born in 1915 but because the ammendment to give women the vote was such a big deal in her family’s house, she remembered the event. And always voted, even from the nursing home. Her parents were both poets – along with my grandfather being a depot agent – so reading and thinking and discussing politics was key. And remained all the time I was growing up. Our kids all inherited the “must vote” gene, too. And we all still passionately discuss politics.

  6. Thanks, Theresa. This fits in well with your Story and History theme!

    My mother was born in 1915 but because the ammendment to give women the vote was such a big deal in her family’s house, she remembered the event. And always voted, even from the nursing home. Her parents were both poets – along with my grandfather being a depot agent – so reading and thinking and discussing politics was key. And remained all the time I was growing up. Our kids all inherited the “must vote” gene, too. And we all still passionately discuss politics.

  7. I would especially encourage any woman who takes her right to vote for granted to rent the movie Iron Jawed Angels. It is based in fact and very eye opening regarding the sufferage movement.

  8. I would especially encourage any woman who takes her right to vote for granted to rent the movie Iron Jawed Angels. It is based in fact and very eye opening regarding the sufferage movement.

  9. Good morning, Theresa! Steve forwarded your post to me, and of course, I love it. I always say “politics is not a spectator sport.” In other words, you have to play (vote, at a minimum) to make a difference, criticize, etc. Keep up the good work!

  10. Good morning, Theresa! Steve forwarded your post to me, and of course, I love it. I always say “politics is not a spectator sport.” In other words, you have to play (vote, at a minimum) to make a difference, criticize, etc. Keep up the good work!

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