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Love Your Vote Day: Embracing the Disenfranchised Citizen
February 14, 2004
By Teresa Van Deusen

On Saturday, February 14, 2004 get out the vote organizations around the country will recognize Love Your Vote Day. These groups have agreed to embrace the ideas of Love, Unity, Diversity, and Democracy by hosting events such as Buy A Non-Voter A Drink and college campus registration drives.

VoterVirgin and New Voters Project are proud to reach for a goal of 10,000 new voters registered over a three day celebration across the nation. Even in states where primaries have been held, there are thousands of eligible voters yet to be registered.

We encourage all citizens to participate in Love Your Vote Day by picking up a voter registration form and passing it on to someone you know. In the spirit of this holiday, we encourage you to set aside the issues and address the heart of the matter: America is a passionate country, our voice should be heard, voting says we care, please vote.

On a personal note I would like to see the progressive community reach out to the conservative voters in your life. We are a country polarized by extremist politics and it is time to begin the healing. I have recently noted more vocal conservatives dismayed by the deficit, slow job growth, and the temporary worker proposal.

I want you to contemplate the shame most Republicans in our world are feeling. In general, they are disenchanted, fed up with trying to defend this administration, and losing their defensiveness in varying degrees. Noted commentators have written that they feel lost, not willing to support a reelection, yet unimpressed with a Democratic candidate.

The key here is that our fellow citizens are feeling lost and the community as a whole will be better off if we all focus on finding common ground. Last fall the NRA and MoveOn worked together to defeat new FCC ownership rules. If these two groups can rally around a common cause, can we not open our hearts to sharing a vision of recovery with our more conservative neighbors and cousins?

Think of it this way. If the GOP was an airplane, then it has been hijacked. Everybody thought they were flying first class when a small, determined group of fundamentalists took over the plane. The Republicans I know would not be sitting passively in their seats. They would be calculating and weighing their options and then they would take those heinous terrorists down.

I think they are about to make their move and I am relieved. I just hope the rest of you turn out with me to welcome them when they get their feet back on the ground. And I don't want to hear any of this "I told you so" business either. Give them a hug. Ask them what they need. It pays to remember we are all human beings just trying to get by in this world. Maybe if we find some common ground we can work together towards restoring our nation.

So I ask you, fellow citizens, to set aside our differences for one day and celebrate Love Your Vote Day this Saturday, February 14th, 2004. Pick up a voter registration form and pass it over the fence to your neighbor. E-mail your neighborhood net group and send them to Ask your favorite waitperson, or convenience store clerk, or the person standing in line with you at the store on Saturday, "Are you registered to vote? Today is Love Your Vote Day and I would love it if you voted this fall," and hand them a registration form.

It's not a Valentine per se, but it might be just as special to embrace a new voter this year.

Love Your Vote Day 2004 is sponsored by:
VoterVirgin: Everybody's Doin' It In '04
New Voters Project
Hip Hop Summit Action Network

And includes recognition from:
Smackdown Your Vote, Project Democracy, and Indyvoter among many other individual expressions of passionate voter outreach.

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