10 o’clock list: Five Reasons It’s Okay Not to Vote Tomorrow

This is exactly how voting works. Tweed jacket optional, but preferred.

I don’t know if you’ve heard, but apparently there’s going to be some sort of election held tomorrow. Sure, we’ve all seen every major news network in America lose its collective shit about Ohio’s key role in this presidential race and the crucial part that the “youth vote” will play in deciding this election. Still, some people persist in thinking it’s okay to bow out tomorrow, so here are a few acceptable reasons to do so. [Note: “I have class” is not on this list (Oh, really? You have class? You have class at this college that we attend? I guess you’re just plumb out of luck, even though the polls are open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.). Neither is “I have a paper/midterm/etc.” If you’re anything like me, the mere hour or so you spend daydreaming about pizza during your allotted study time should give you more than enough room to vote. And no, folks, neither is “Ugh, I just hate the modern political system, I don’t want to feed the Man’s voting machines with my hopes and dreams” or whatever nonsense you’re rationalizing with.]

1. You’re too young/not a citizen. Don’t try your hand at voter fraud, boys and girls, because the long arm of the law will inevitably reach you and you don’t want to undo Kenyon students’ hard-earned reputation as Election Day champs. If you want to help out tomorrow, spend the day volunteering to get Ohio voters to the polls, canvassing for your candidate of choice or krumping outside our polling place to keep the voters entertained (polls show krumping is a cornerstone of every healthy democracy).

2. You voted already. Way to early-vote, you enterprising young patriot. Reward yourself by strolling past the eager throngs of voters tomorrow with a smug smile, then spending the day in bed with a Netflix Instant queue-ful of your favorite movies, a snifter of aged brandy and a tray of fine artisanal cheeses by your side. (Or, you could fulfill all your regular Tuesday obligations. But where’s the fun there?)

3. You’re currently under house arrest. If the U.S. government tracking your every move via electronic ankle monitor, a la Lohan, and a team of Safety officers is poised to tackle you should you so much as step foot outside your dorm, you can sit this one out. Chances are, if you’ve convicted a felony severe enough to land you in a Hollywood sock, you may not be eligible to vote anyway.

4. You have a rare but deadly allergy to a specific kind of dust-like residue found solely in the Gambier Community Center. Tough break, man. Maybe pop a Claritin and chance it?

5. You’re a total douche. I know it’s been said before, but if you’re lucky enough to have a vote in this election — an Ohio vote, no less — and you throw it away out of sheer apathy, you are a d-bag of epic and unforeseen proportions and I hope you realize you never get to complain about anything in this country ever again. Ever. It’s the law.

 Happy Election Day Eve, one and all!

32 responses

  1. if you don’t want to vote because your jaded 19 year old wisdom about party politics and “the system” tell you not to, here’s what you do: cast a blank ballot. no one can say you didn’t vote, and you’re still exercising your right.

  2. Not exercising your right to vote is simply foolish. We’re extremely lucky to have a say in who runs our country. You shouldn’t take that for granted.

    • Not a Citizen was included (number 1). If you’re abroad, you can cast an absentee ballot and if you’re somehow a citizen and a student without residency in the United States, then MAYBE you couldn’t vote (though honestly, if you’re at Kenyon, you can probably establish residency in Ohio).

  3. You know, I had thought I wasn’t going to vote because I was uniformed about the issues and sincerely see little difference between two essentially center right candidates, but now that some random girl wrote an article on the Thrill that called me an apathetic douchebag of “epic…proportions,” I have totally seen the error of my ways! Thank goodness for passively agressive self-righteous Thrill commentators. You are truly the bastions of our democracy/militarized republic.

    • Most of the passive-aggressive Thrill commentators are just angry that you didn’t succumb to all their pressure to vote a straight democratic ticket. Because voting while uninformed is much better than acknowledging your uninformedness and abstaining from voting because you don’t want to exercise that power irresponsibly.

      • it is essentially impossible to be uninformed on the whole “obama v romney” thing. (one way or the other).

        you don’t have to vote on ohio/knox county issues (and probably shouldn’t if you don’t understand them). but i sincerely doubt that a kenyon college student couldn’t be engaged enough to understand what’s happening on a national level.

      • I don’t think he/she’s claiming to be uninformed about Obama and Romney. Anonymous says he’s uninformed about the issues, which is a separate matter from the candidates. Rather, he’s not picking a candidate because he sees little difference between them (which, honestly, if you look at foreign policy for instance, isn’t that far off base – the rest is just the difference between the groups they’re pandering to, respectively). We should respect people’s choices not to vote as much as we respect people’s choices to vote for their candidates and issues of choice, so long as all these decisions are made thoughtfully.

      • Look, even if you disagree with both of them, you should still go and vote. Find a third party candidate to support or cast a blank ballot–do something that actually counts as participating in our political process and conversation. If more dissatisfied voters actual did do this there might be a national conversation outside of the two-party gridlock disaffected voters complain about. So if you hate drones or Guantanamo or the gold standard or feel passionately about something else that is unrepresented in our political process, go cast a blank ballot! Just don’t leave your voice uncounted and unrepresented after today–if you’re dissatisfied with something, you better voice that dissatisfaction or never expect things to change. Look at the large scale ramifications of the political conversation–millions of people’s access to healthcare, college affordability, investments in education and other economic policies that will shape our individual futures here in this country–and see that there is in fact a lot of stake, and voice your opinion please!

  4. Uh, not to be xenophobic or anything, but aren’t most international students non-citizens? I think that would place them squarely under category 1.

    • this is annoying, self righteous, and uniformed. if it necessary to administer this kind of condescending message, could it be possible to articulate it in a fashion showing that the writer is at least somewhat politically informed or possesses the prose sophistication to discuss more than “krumping” and who is a “total douche”?

  5. my convictions are what make the darkness go away and that’ll never change! i love everyone as long as we share the same beliefs!

  6. the issues aren’t that complicated when you get down to it. the choice is pretty clear. when it comes down to local issues its crystal clear voting on issues such as school levys and park levys and districting issues are asking you—do u support public education do u support parks and do you support a more fair and equitable politicking if the answer is yes (i would assume most would be) then its just not hard.

    public education is public education. parks are parks . and fair is fair. give every child a shot and vote YES on the school levy.

  7. and because of your idiotic blog i just wasted precious time reading I will definately not vote. What a D bag you are.

  8. If you don’t like either candidate, then voting doesn’t make sense. What use is a ballot when you’re voting for something/someone you don’t support or want running your country?

  9. The real scoop is:
    If you choose to vote, thanks for exercising your right to help decide how this country is run.
    If you choose NOT to vote, congratulations on exercising your right to choose to abstain. However, until you actually vote, your complaints about the government/government officials/government policies should be kept to yourself. If you can do that, then enjoy sitting around not voting.

  10. “If you are bored and disgusted by politics and don’t bother to vote, you are in effect voting for the entrenched Establishments of the two major parties, who please rest assured are not dumb, and who are keenly aware that it is in their interests to keep you disgusted and bored and cynical and to give you every possible reason to stay at home doing one-hitters and watching MTV on primary day. By all means stay home if you want, but don’t bullshit yourself that you’re not voting. In reality, there is no such thing as not voting: you either vote by voting, or you vote by staying home and tacitly doubling the value of some Diehard’s vote.” – David Foster Wallace

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