WHY I VOTE.
As the 2012 election approaches, all this buzz about “the Latino vote” is starting to amp up. I remember a similar buzz about this voting bloc in 2010. In that election the narrative was that Latino voters in Nevada helped keep Harry Reid in his seat, giving Dems an advantage in the Senate, thus we can say definitively that getting Latinos to the polls matters.
So, I wanted to share my personal reasons for voting.
I voted for president the first time that I could in 2004. I remember being sad that I missed the 2000 election and felt proud to be able to contribute to my country with such an important act. Which is why I do not understand why so many people voluntarily give it up.
5.) It’s exciting. While some people get pumped up about sports, I get pumped up about elections. In a way, elections are like a miniature parade of our society, allowing us to see ourselves reflected in our own conceits, what we say we want versus what we actually want. Basketball or football games happen often, but elections don’t, so why not pay attention?
4.) It’s a group activity. I went with a group of friends the first time I went to vote and in the 2008 election I went with a friend to the polls, too. It’s something you can plan together, share, and ultimately remember fondly.
3.) It’s my job. Not to get all jingoistic or anything, but after all of the horrible history in this country, all of the deaths that occurred so that women and non-whites could vote, it’s the least I can do. Part of living in a democratic society means participating, and by making sure I get out to vote every election, it means I’m doing my part.
2.) It’s fun. Again, not to get all dorky, but I think it’s fun to go vote. You get to see everyone else readying to vote, you can go into a little space and make your selections in privacy and when you come out no one knows what happened! Plus you get a sticker!
1.) It makes me feel American. When I vote, I feel like I have a say in what happens in this country — for better or worse — I can take pride in the good things we do (however slowly) and decide to work harder when things go wrong. It makes me feel like I not only belong here, but that I deserve to be here.
In short, voting is awesome — go do it!
Copyright 2012 Sara Inés Calderon. This blog first appeared on Latinopia on July 29, 2012.