Here’s a juicy, educational tid-bit…sort of.
Voter Registration. If you’re a student at a college or university, odds are you’ve come across folks poking these forms at you as you pass the major points of pedestrian traffic. Outside of that, though….how does one register to vote? I like to consider myself fairly knowledgeable about such things, but I’ve racked my brain and the only way outside of the above described scenario that comes to mind is my very first voter registration process – at the DMV.
By now I am sure a lot of folks have realized that *they* do not want us to vote, to exercise that civic duty/right that I too battle between loving and hating. But I thought, surely, that the campaign to register folks was a little more robust than just hoping they wandered into the DMV (and even then I have no clue what the protocol really is) or onto a college campus during a strategic point in a major election. But it’s not really. There are, however, more ways to register than I knew.
Check it out:
“In addition to the printable voter registration application accessible on this website, voter registration applications are available at county boards of elections’ offices, public libraries, high schools and college admissions offices.
Further, the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA) requires certain agencies in this state to offer voter registration services. Voter registration services are offered at the following agencies:
- North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV): A person may complete a voter registration transaction at any driver’s license examination office when conducting official DMV business with that office (applying for or renewing a driver’s license, I.D. card, etc.).
- Public Assistance Agencies
- Departments of Social Services (DSS)
- Departments of Public Health (WIC)
- Disability Services Agencies
- Vocational Rehabilitation offices
- Departments of Services for the Blind
- Departments of Services for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing
- Departments of Mental Health Services
- Employment Security Commission (ESC)”
Now it might not be an aggressive campaign or anything, but it’s something to be aware of and to spread knowledge of to any and all folks.
Important also is that you register at least 25 days before the election in which you wish to vote.
Now I’m not one to pretend that this process is perfect or that it’s the means to the ideal end that I envision, but it is a potential stepping-stone. As is stands, far too many folks vote against their interests, are lied to by major media outlets, are deluded into believing that a 2 party system is a superior voting system, and believe that the presidential election is the make or break of this nation’s future. The things we could do with proper representation, however, are beautiful. We could elect representatives who put THE PEOPLE first in their legislative processes. We could have representation that conveys our interests in, ya know, FOOD AND SURVIVAL, and education for all and human-centered solutions to the alleged problem of immigration across imaginary, stolen borders. That could be a thing. We could have universal healthcare. We could change our laws and agencies and protocols to eliminate their “need” to incarcerate, dehumanize and otherwise attack and brutalize communities of color.
We can do this because, while the process is flawed, we are still in control. We can use our votes for what they are worth and continue the fight on the 364 other days in the year. We can use our votes to communicate the needs of the folks in our communities who are being denied the right to vote themselves. I’m talking about felons, children, undocumented folks – anyone whose voice is intentionally drowned out by our current laws and ideology – consider the folks in the countries the U.S. constantly invades!! Who speaks for them in the U.S. government? Is that what we want? the wanton murder of folks in the name of imperialist strategy and positioning? NO!
But who will we vote for? Who is there to accurately represent these perspectives I’ve just listed? Can we trust anyone of these majority white, male, wealthy, career politicians to do right by our communities once they have our initial nod? Probably not. I mean, maybe we can, but why take that risk if we don’t have to? Radical folks – rise up!! Run for local office!! Yes, there are limitations to who can make it through the arbitrary list of initial requirements, but it can be done. Locally elected officials have a real chance to impact the day-to-day lives of the folks in our communities. Change to the systems we loathe can come from the inside AND the outside! We can strip away the pretense and the hierarchy one official at at time. IT WILL BEND TO THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE!!
But yes, so that’s what I learned today and I hope you found it interesting. Let’s continue this conversation, though, because resources are important and I haven’t covered everything by any means in this short rant. It’s just something to start/keep thinking about. I was inspired by the existence of countries with low levels of SES inequality and excellent health outcomes who still use similar processes electorally speaking as the U.S. does. They also manage not to invade multiple countries per decade. Really sparkling resumes and shit.
Oh – PS. Total afterthought but needs to be discussed also — *they* don’t want us to vote and so *they* have implemented a Voter ID law to make it more difficult for the populations to which they wish to deny rights. This isn’t going into effect until 2016 – so let’s…I dunno..raise so hell, or…appeals,….or….beat them at their own game and make new legislation that requires the gov to provide these IDs free of charge and at the voter’s convenience, or…I dunno. Something.