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Fri Mar 21, 2014, 11:55 PM

I vote. I've voted in every election since 1970. Midterms, presidential elections, doesn't matter.

I've never not voted for 44 years, ever since I was old enough to vote. (They lowered the voting age too late for me to able to vote in 1968)

I don't vote based on hoping I'll get what I want. I vote because because I want to be counted. I vote because I want those who end up running things - for good or for ill - to know that I'm one of the people watching and paying attention.

This notion that it's a matter of principle to only vote when there's someone running who meets your personal criteria for a "true liberal" or a "true progressive" is a massive missing of the heart of the matter.

You can't always get what you want. What you CAN do is demonstrate that, in spite of everything, you are insisting that you be counted as an active participant in the exercise of our collective democratic right to vote.

As Emma Goldman said (paraphrasing here), If voting really changed things it would be made illegal. I sadly agree - but I'll still vote because I want TPTB to know that I'm out here watching what they do.

I vote because I want to be counted, nothing more.

sw



55 replies, 1225 views

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Reply I vote. I've voted in every election since 1970. Midterms, presidential elections, doesn't matter. (Original post)
scarletwoman Mar 2014 OP
pscot Mar 2014 #1
scarletwoman Mar 2014 #4
arthritisR_US Mar 2014 #8
frazzled Mar 2014 #2
scarletwoman Mar 2014 #10
Le Taz Hot Mar 2014 #3
scarletwoman Mar 2014 #11
woo me with science Mar 2014 #46
MFM008 Mar 2014 #5
scarletwoman Mar 2014 #15
arthritisR_US Mar 2014 #6
scarletwoman Mar 2014 #12
arthritisR_US Mar 2014 #14
Egnever Mar 2014 #7
arthritisR_US Mar 2014 #9
scarletwoman Mar 2014 #13
1000words Mar 2014 #16
scarletwoman Mar 2014 #20
Sirveri Mar 2014 #49
scarletwoman Mar 2014 #51
hfojvt Mar 2014 #17
scarletwoman Mar 2014 #21
Autumn Mar 2014 #18
scarletwoman Mar 2014 #23
Autumn Mar 2014 #55
justhanginon Mar 2014 #19
scarletwoman Mar 2014 #24
jwirr Mar 2014 #22
scarletwoman Mar 2014 #26
Zorra Mar 2014 #25
scarletwoman Mar 2014 #28
VanillaRhapsody Mar 2014 #27
scarletwoman Mar 2014 #29
VanillaRhapsody Mar 2014 #36
G_j Mar 2014 #30
scarletwoman Mar 2014 #34
struggle4progress Mar 2014 #31
scarletwoman Mar 2014 #33
G_j Mar 2014 #45
scarletwoman Mar 2014 #47
G_j Mar 2014 #48
scarletwoman Mar 2014 #50
G_j Mar 2014 #54
stage left Mar 2014 #39
WhiteTara Mar 2014 #32
scarletwoman Mar 2014 #35
stage left Mar 2014 #37
scarletwoman Mar 2014 #40
Agony Mar 2014 #38
scarletwoman Mar 2014 #41
Blue_In_AK Mar 2014 #42
scarletwoman Mar 2014 #43
scarletwoman Mar 2014 #44
fizzgig Mar 2014 #52
femmocrat Mar 2014 #53

Response to scarletwoman (Original post)

Sat Mar 22, 2014, 12:02 AM

1. That's a fine post

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Response to pscot (Reply #1)

Sat Mar 22, 2014, 12:09 AM

4. Thank you.

I'm getting fed up with posts worrying over whether or not some candidate or another is "worthy" of voting for. Frankly, hardly anyone who manages to put together enough money to run in modern American election contests is going to be "worthy".

The real question, to me anyway, is whether we're just going to sit by and allow ourselves to become invisible non-participants. I refuse to cooperate in being rendered invisible.

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Response to scarletwoman (Reply #4)

Sat Mar 22, 2014, 12:15 AM

8. You, my dear, will never be invisible...

the day you are will be the day the universe ceases to shine.

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Response to scarletwoman (Original post)

Sat Mar 22, 2014, 12:07 AM

2. Me too.

Well, in every election since 1972. But I do it because I feel it is my civic duty. I vote for judges, I vote for Water Reclamation District members, I vote for aldermen, and all the positions right on up to the top.

I feel that if I live in a democracy, it's my duty to vote. If I want democracy to persist, I'd better be a part of it. I don't care if I have to even hold my nose once in a while. There is going to be a government even if I don't vote: it's my duty to make a choice as to who is going to be in that government—the one that taxes me, runs the schools my kids go to, sends our sons and daughters to war. Not voting does not make an individual rise above all the problems. It does not absolve you from complicity in the government. Staying home actually registers as a vote: for the worse of two choices.



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Response to frazzled (Reply #2)

Sat Mar 22, 2014, 12:19 AM

10. It actually comes down to "use it or lose it", doesn't it.

If I want democracy to persist, I'd better be a part of it.

Well said!

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Response to scarletwoman (Original post)

Sat Mar 22, 2014, 12:08 AM

3. So do I.

And just because I refuse to vote for another corporate shill doesn't mean I don't vote. I'm just not voting for the corporate shill and, too often, that corporate shill is running on the Democratic ticket.

There's a difference between someone staying home because they don't like who is being offered up by the two major political parties and NOT voting for the corporate shills representing the two major political parties. Too often those to are conflagrated.

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Response to Le Taz Hot (Reply #3)

Sat Mar 22, 2014, 12:24 AM

11. A long time ago one of my favorite oldtime DUers made the point that if you don't vote,

you make yourself eminently ignorable. So yes, it's the act of voting itself that counts, period.

Thank you!

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Response to Le Taz Hot (Reply #3)

Sat Mar 22, 2014, 08:20 PM

46. +100000000

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Response to scarletwoman (Original post)

Sat Mar 22, 2014, 12:12 AM

5. Me 3

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Response to MFM008 (Reply #5)

Sat Mar 22, 2014, 01:21 AM

15. Thank you. I see from your profile that you live in western WA.

Many years ago, I lived for a time in the San Juan Islands - first Lopez, then Orcas. My youngest now lives in Seattle. I will always have a warm place in my heart for WA.

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Response to scarletwoman (Original post)

Sat Mar 22, 2014, 12:13 AM

6. I dearly hope your attitude is infectious!

Good on you mate and may the universe continue to shine on you.

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Response to arthritisR_US (Reply #6)

Sat Mar 22, 2014, 12:37 AM

12. Well, we'll see.



I'm actually quite cynical about politics in general, but I'll be damned if I'm willing to just give up and be invisible.

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Response to scarletwoman (Reply #12)

Sat Mar 22, 2014, 12:53 AM

14. I echo your sentiments...

which keep pushing me on to continue

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Response to scarletwoman (Original post)

Sat Mar 22, 2014, 12:14 AM

7. Cool post

and a powerful sentiment.

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Response to Egnever (Reply #7)

Sat Mar 22, 2014, 12:17 AM

9. +100! nt

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Response to Egnever (Reply #7)

Sat Mar 22, 2014, 12:38 AM

13. Thank you.

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Response to scarletwoman (Original post)

Sat Mar 22, 2014, 01:33 AM

16. O.K. ... you're paying attention.

So what. They know, we know ... but simply don't care.

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Response to 1000words (Reply #16)

Sat Mar 22, 2014, 10:13 AM

20. "They... simply don't care." So? Why should I make it easier for them not to care by not voting?

I vote because *I* care. I vote to demonstrate that I will not be beaten down to invisibility and non-participation.

I vote because I will exercise my civic right of franchise as an act of defiance in the face of their indifference.

I vote because I refuse to assist in making it more convenient for them to assume that they may simply rule over us as though we are passive and apathetic sheep.

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Response to scarletwoman (Reply #20)

Sat Mar 22, 2014, 09:18 PM

49. The typical argument in reply is that it legitimizes the system.

If you participate, then it could be argued that you support the system. I vote, but I don't really support the system, it's clearly broken. My response is that not voting doesn't do anything to tear down the system either. I'd love to try mandatory voting for an 8 year period, just to see what it was like and what results it got. There are a lot of changes I'd like to see made to the system, even just as test runs. Not voting has a bit less of a chance of making such changes compared with voting, so there isn't a real reason not to vote.

Maybe you do support the system, I'd be hard pressed to say that it's really a decent system though. Can you trust a politician installed by the system to work to change it? Most dogs are smart enough not to bite the hand that feeds them.

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Response to Sirveri (Reply #49)

Sat Mar 22, 2014, 09:24 PM

51. Well said! Thank you for weighing in!

Great point about "not voting doesn't do anything to tear down the system either."

I also like the idea of mandatory voting - it definitely would be interesting to see the results!

Thanks again!

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Response to scarletwoman (Original post)

Sat Mar 22, 2014, 05:28 AM

17. I may have missed 1986

I cannot remember.

I do remember that I was living in Utah, getting ready to quit my job and move, at least temporarily, back to my home state.

That was the year Daschle was elected to the Senate in my home state. The year before, I had talked to a Daschle staffer at the State Fair. I asked, 'is he gonna run for the Senate?' Staffer asked 'Do you think he should?' I said 'I think he could beat Abdnor'.

And I was right, but I cannot remember if I voted in that election either in SD or in Utah. Six months later I was in Wisconsin, and 14 months after that in Nebraska. But not before I had voted in the Wisconsin primary - as a Democrat.

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #17)

Sat Mar 22, 2014, 10:37 AM

21. I can totally understand, I've relocated quite bit from state to state over the years.

It's not always easy to stay on top of registering to vote in a new location, especially if it's temporary. But when a person has a lifelong habit of voting, they will do the best they can to continue to exercise their right.

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Response to scarletwoman (Original post)

Sat Mar 22, 2014, 08:49 AM

18. Excellent post and very well said.

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Response to Autumn (Reply #18)

Sat Mar 22, 2014, 12:29 PM

23. Thank you. At a time when so many of our rights are under assault, why in the world

would anyone want to willingly forgo the exercise of their most basic right in a democracy; their right to vote?

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Response to scarletwoman (Reply #23)

Sun Mar 23, 2014, 11:28 AM

55. In over forty years I have not missed one election, Not a single one

I don't plan on staying home now. That being said, I'm having a real problem with the 2014 race. I'm not sure I can vote for one Democrat.

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Response to scarletwoman (Original post)

Sat Mar 22, 2014, 09:55 AM

19. Good post. I've voted in

most if not all elections since the mid fifties when I first became eligible. For me personally, I always wanted the right to argue, in retrospect, both pro and con on those things or people I either voted for or against. I wanted a clear conscience so if my vote lost I could criticize to my hearts content and if by chance I was on the winning side I could take full and complete credit. Not voting, I felt, would take away any perceived righteousness on my part.

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Response to justhanginon (Reply #19)

Sat Mar 22, 2014, 12:47 PM

24. Thank you for your post! Those are excellent reasons to vote - a clear conscience, and the right to

take credit or complain, as the case may be.

Welcome to DU!

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Response to scarletwoman (Original post)

Sat Mar 22, 2014, 10:57 AM

22. Good point. I have voted in all elections since JFK. The one time I was angry enough to say I was

not going to vote my two daughters said "Yes, you are. You taught us it was important and you are not going to back out now." They picked me up and took me to the polls.

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Response to jwirr (Reply #22)

Sat Mar 22, 2014, 01:06 PM

26. Good for your daughters! And good for you for raising them well.



Thank you for your post!

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Response to scarletwoman (Original post)

Sat Mar 22, 2014, 12:57 PM

25. Recommend. That's my story as well. nt

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Response to Zorra (Reply #25)

Sat Mar 22, 2014, 01:11 PM

28. Thanks! I'm glad to have you as a fellow voting proponent! (nt)

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Response to scarletwoman (Original post)

Sat Mar 22, 2014, 01:09 PM

27. EXCEPTIONAL post...in the words of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards..

"You Can't Always Get What You Want"

I saw her today at the reception
A glass of wine in her hand
I knew she would meet her connection
At her feet was a footloose man
No, you can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
But if you try sometime you find
You get what you need
I saw her today at the reception
A glass of wine in her hand
I knew she was gonna meet her connection
At her feet was a footloose man
You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
But if you try sometimes well you might find
You get what you need
And I went down to the demonstration
To get my fair share of abuse
Singing, "We're gonna vent our frustration
If we don't we're gonna blow a 50-amp fuse"
You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
But if you try sometimes well you just might find
You get what you need
I went down to the Chelsea drugstore
To get your prescription filled
I was standing in line with Mr. Jimmy
And man, did he look pretty ill
We decided that we would have a soda
My favorite flavor, cherry red
I sung my song to Mr. Jimmy
Yeah, and he said one word to me, and that was "dead"
I said to him
You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
But if you try sometimes you just might find
You get what you need
You get what you need--yeah, oh baby
I saw her today at the reception
In her glass was a bleeding man
She was practiced at the art of deception
Well I could tell by her blood-stained hands
You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
But if you try sometimes you just might find
You just might find
You get what you need
You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
But if you try sometimes you just might find
You just might find
You get what you need

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Response to VanillaRhapsody (Reply #27)

Sat Mar 22, 2014, 01:16 PM

29. Thank you. As I said above in another post,

why would anyone want to willfully relinquish one of their rights?

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Response to scarletwoman (Reply #29)

Sat Mar 22, 2014, 01:43 PM

36. beyond me...but then there is Ralph Nader....

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Response to scarletwoman (Original post)

Sat Mar 22, 2014, 01:20 PM

30. I'm with you

that is my attitude.

I back the most progressive candidates in the primaries, and take it from there.

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Response to G_j (Reply #30)

Sat Mar 22, 2014, 01:37 PM

34. Thanks, G_j! It's great to see you!

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Response to scarletwoman (Original post)

Sat Mar 22, 2014, 01:23 PM

31. If voting didn't change things, the GOP wouldn't be making it harder for people to vote

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Response to struggle4progress (Reply #31)

Sat Mar 22, 2014, 01:35 PM

33. Yes, that is a good point and I don't disagree. I'm just looking at it from a different angle.

My argument against not voting is aimed at those who are feeling fed up and disgusted, and don't think voting is worth the bother, because they can't get the kinds of candidates they feel inspired to vote for.

So, what I'm saying is, stop looking at voting as a way to get your way - and then giving up on the idea because you're sure you won't get your way. Look at it simply as protecting your own important right. Protecting your personal right as a citizen to participate ought to be inspiring enough.

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Response to scarletwoman (Reply #33)

Sat Mar 22, 2014, 08:16 PM

45. yes

It's always been an important ritual for me, a recognition that I am a participant in democracy. It may be the least I can do, but I can do it. It's generally not that big a deal.

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Response to G_j (Reply #45)

Sat Mar 22, 2014, 08:28 PM

47. "It's generally not that big a deal." Yes, that's another thing!

I realize that for some people, there can be any number of difficulties that need to be overcome. But for the most part, the worst that happens is a long wait in line.

Still, people are willing to wait in long lines for many things - sporting events, movies, shopping at a sale. Isn't exercising your right to vote at least as important as any of those other things?

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Response to scarletwoman (Reply #47)

Sat Mar 22, 2014, 09:08 PM

48. in states where voter suppression has been legislated

it will really help if people make an extra effort to help others register, get to the polls and overcome obstacles and confusion.
I hope people understand how crucial the situation is, and if for no other motivation, vote against ALEC and the Koch bros rewriting our laws down to the local levels of government. They have a plan, and they are carrying it out. Voting locally is important too.

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Response to G_j (Reply #48)

Sat Mar 22, 2014, 09:19 PM

50. That's so important! Very good post!

I sure hope that those who threaten not to vote are remembering that their local elections are VERY important. The state level is where the most immediate damage can be done if Dem voters stay home. Just look at what happened to Wisconsin in 2010!

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Response to scarletwoman (Reply #50)

Sun Mar 23, 2014, 11:20 AM

54. I can attest to that

the GOP wrecking ball has very been busy here in NC.

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Response to struggle4progress (Reply #31)

Sat Mar 22, 2014, 02:48 PM

39. +1

I've read your stories and what you do to get out the vote and I'm saying thanks for what you do. I'm inspired by you.

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Response to scarletwoman (Original post)

Sat Mar 22, 2014, 01:31 PM

32. Me too. We lost most elections

but it was great every time we won. It has always felt like we were stopping a bullet.

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Response to WhiteTara (Reply #32)

Sat Mar 22, 2014, 01:38 PM

35. Thank you for being a fellow voter!

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Response to scarletwoman (Original post)

Sat Mar 22, 2014, 02:38 PM

37. K&R

Thanks for a nice positive post, Scarlet Woman, among all the recent negativity. The first vote I ever cast was for Jimmy Carter. It broke my heart when Reagan pushed him out, but it never stopped me from voting. Oftentimes, living where I live, I feel that my vote doesn't count at all, but that didn't stop me from voting. The Republicans down here can override my vote easily and do, but, damn it, I can still be heard, if dimly. They can stifle me, but they can only shut me up if I let them. And I don't intend to let them. We can't, we really can't, continue to listen to the Right tell us that we've already lost. This upcoming election is just too important for apathy. Yes, we're sometimes presented with the lesser of two evils to vote for. And some people say the lesser of two evils is still evil and you shouldn't vote for that, you should be purer than that, or something. Yes, but, the way I feel is, if you help the more evil to win by opting out, how does that help anything? Doesn't it just make the greater evil that much stronger?

In SC the only choice we often have is between completely nuts and just barely sane. We would be damned fortunate to have a choice between a centrist member of the Democratic Party and the Right Wing crazies we're stuck with. Damned fortunate. And that is coming from a person whose personal philosophy is so far left that I seriously considered leftofghandi as my name. I still sort of like it. Anyway I'm going to vote and since I'm fairly sane, I'm going to vote for Democrats. I would vote for Republicans if they had beliefs I could stomach, but they don't. And lately they make me sick to my soul. So, y'all vote. Unless you're going to vote for Republicans, and then please, don't bother.

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Response to stage left (Reply #37)

Sat Mar 22, 2014, 02:50 PM

40. Wonderful post! Very well said!

And some people say the lesser of two evils is still evil and you shouldn't vote for that, you should be purer than that, or something. Yes, but, the way I feel is, if you help the more evil to win by opting out, how does that help anything? Doesn't it just make the greater evil that much stronger?


Exactly! We must not allow ourselves to go silent and uncounted by not voting at all. Even if it's hopeless, show up as an act of defiance. Show up and say, "I am here, and I will not sit idly by and be silenced."

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Response to scarletwoman (Original post)

Sat Mar 22, 2014, 02:42 PM

38. YES!

and not only that, but as an election inspector I want to watch the votes get COUNTED!

Cheers,
Agony

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Response to Agony (Reply #38)

Sat Mar 22, 2014, 02:57 PM

41. Thank you. I've worked as an election judge, and it's great work! (nt)

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Response to scarletwoman (Original post)

Sat Mar 22, 2014, 03:41 PM

42. Right on.

I could have voted in 1968 but didn't because of Chicago. Somehow in my addled little 21-year-old brain, I thought boycotting the election would prove something. After four years of Richard Nixon, I realized the error of my ways and have voted in all elections since. My candidates don't win very often, but at least I've earned the right to complain.

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Response to Blue_In_AK (Reply #42)

Sat Mar 22, 2014, 03:52 PM

43. And let us never underestimate the value of "earning the right to complain"!

That's how my dad always put it, "If you don't vote, you have no right to complain."

So, by gawd, I WILL vote, and I WILL complain!

Thanks for posting on my boring little thread.

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Response to scarletwoman (Original post)

Sat Mar 22, 2014, 08:06 PM

44. Evening kick. (nt)

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Response to scarletwoman (Original post)

Sat Mar 22, 2014, 09:40 PM

52. i may have voted in the muni election in 99

but i can't say for sure. what i can tell you is that i did vote for gore in 2000 and have not missed an election yet.

i supervise a lot of high school and college kids at work, and i always make it a point to encourage them to register to vote and to vote.

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Response to scarletwoman (Original post)

Sat Mar 22, 2014, 10:26 PM

53. Me too. Every election since 1972.

I was proud to cast my first vote for George McGovern.

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