Every two years I hear the same joke while I’m waiting in line at my polling place. Someone stepping out of the booth grabs a sticker on their way out the door, and the worker manning the table laughs, “That’s why we do it, right?” Maybe.
I voted because it’s easy.
And it’s not enough. As surely as the joke, it happens every two years that I walk away from the polls feeling a day late and a dollar short – a feeling reinforced when the results are tallied and I see that my neighbors and I feel quite differently, often by a wide margin.
What are we to do? One course of action that strikes me as especially productive is to work to make voting as easy for others as it is for me. While Kentuckians were passing Marsy’s Law, Floridians were voting a ballot initiative to restore voting rights to a million people stripped of those rights after a felony conviction. With its passage, only two states remain holdouts on the issue of restoring voting rights: Iowa, and (surprise, surprise) Kentucky. In our state alone, 300,000 have lost the right to vote, and the current leadership are intent on keeping it that way (Bevin overturned an executive order from outgoing Governor Beshear that would have restored voting rights; as it is, voting rights in Kentucky are only ever restored on a case-by-case basis, and Bevin hasn’t been generous with those, either.)
For those interested in learning more about this issue, or taking action, Kentuckians for the Commonwealth is a good place to start.
Is there enough political will in this state to get voting rights on the ballot in 2020?
When you have the chance, if you have the chance, vote. When you have the chance, if you have the chance, do a little more too.
The decision to exercise my right to vote was a difficult one. There have been very few candidates that inspire me. Naturally, I retreat until