I’m one of many people not voting. I know, people died for that right. I also know that I don’t like ritual for the sake of ritual, and my vote really doesn’t matter much. Especially in a district where there are not a lot of chances of an upset. I suppose I could register out of my office in Connecticut, but you know, voter fraud and all that. But rational choice does not explain my lack of casting a vote.
Nor does serious worries over the voting process. When I was in seventh grade, I wrote a program that allowed students to vote for student elections. People shuffled in to the voting machine (a Commodore 64–yes, I’m that young) and clicked on their candidates of choice. While writing the program, for a moment I realized the power involved. There was no paper record–I could change the election. I didn’t. Instead, in order to avoid any appearances of impropriety, I even abstained from voting. I only wish I had the confidence in today’s voting machines that I had in my own. But that’s not why I didn’t vote today.
I sent in my voter registration card twice after moving to Manhattan. Each time I got a new, blank voter registration card back in the mail. No note, no indication of why. I’m guessing it is because I kept telling them that I was already registered back in western New York. But, I thought, maybe they had me down and were just sending me a new form each time for some strange paperwork reason. My wife got her voter card in the mail, and an indication of where to vote. I waited. Nothing. I should have been more vigilant about it, and I’m sure I could try to do something (provisional ballot?) now. But the truth is that my velleity in combination with an apparent bureaucratic snafu has led to my soft disenfranchisement.
Maybe I just tried to register for the wrong party. I’m going to try registering Republican and see if it “sticks.” I’ve registered with all sorts of parties in the past–I’m a bit of a party hopper–but I’m about the right age to turn Republican. Besides, I dig the whole “small government” thing. Doesn’t seem to be a big part of the platform lately, but maybe I can help bring it back. Though registering Republican might interfere with being able to vote for this guy.
Update: I’m not the only one, though clearly the lazier!