Vote Because, Well – Just Do It

Next Tuesday is Election Day, and I will vote. I always vote. I believe it is rooted in the fact that for many years in the history of this country, people were disenfranchised, largely because of their race and/or gender, and I just cannot help but take advantage of my right to participate in the democratic process.

And because it is an “off-year” election, fewer people will vote in November 2009 than in November 2008, even though the races that take this year arguably have more of a direct impact on people’s lives than the statewide or national races. This means that MY vote will mean more, proportionally.

Still, it’s difficult to muster much enthusiasm. For many races in Albany, NY, both citywide and countywide, the primary in September WAS the race. For those not in Albany, you need to know that this is a one-party town, and that one party is the Democratic party. Now since I am a registered Democrat – hey, I want to be where the action is – you might think I would be happy about that; I’m not, even though it advantages one of the candidates I’m supporting. I believe one-party rule, no matter the good intentions of that party, inevitably leads to complacency and arrogance.

This is why I will reveal my ballot in one race: I am voting for the Republican for county coroner. I don’t even know who the party candidates are, though there were stories in the paper recently, for it doesn’t matter. In fact, I have ALWAYS voted for the Republican candidate for coroner since I moved to Albany 30 years ago. And I believe that the Republican candidate for coroner has always lost. I fully expect that to happen again this year, but I don’t care. It’s my rage against the machine.

Incidentally, the last of the Albany County Board of Elections’ extended hours to accept absentee ballot applications take place Saturday morning, October 31, from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.

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