Column: You bettah vote

We are down to the wire here people.

Within a matter of days, we may or may not know who will be president of this great nation for the next four years (remember Bush v. Gore).

If you believe the polls — and I might — it is unlikely that I will be that leader.

It seems I am not qualified.

It is a good thing my name will not appear on a single ballot. My brand of diplomacy surely would lead us down the path of war with a friendly country like Jamaica in no time flat.

The whole not being qualified thing doesn’t stop me from believing in my heart that I — a person who cannot without Google tell you if Bismarck is the capitol of North or South Dakota — could do a better job than anyone else — including the guy who wins the job.

Why would it?

Lots of people who are unqualified to do things have very strong feelings about things being done by those qualified to do them.

Second guessing and backseat driving is the American way and my right as a voter. That ain’t going to change.

Despite the fact that I am very much not on the ballot, I will be very disappointed if I do not get at least one vote Tuesday. About 131 million people — 64 percent of voting-aged citizens — voted in the 2008 U.S. presidential election, an increase of 5 million from 2004, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Of course I cannot tell you without googling “percentage calculator” what 64 percent of 130 million is (another reason I know I should never be president).

I can however from the top of my head tell you that 100 minus 64 is about 40.

I may not be qualified to be president, but thanks to a lot of other people’s sacrifices and struggles I and about 200 million other Americans are eligible to vote.

It is those sacrifices and struggles that leave me shaking my head when I hear election turnout numbers.

Despite the constant bombardment of political ads and media reports telling us how important is it to vote, it is doubtful voter turnout will end up where most people would expect it to be given all of that sacrifice and struggle.

According to the census, only 71 percent of voting-age citizens were registered to vote in 2008, the last presidential election.

Obviously, some of this not voting will be unavoidable. Even with early voting — a concept promoted by both Mitt Romney and Barack Obama — it can be hard for some to find time to cast a vote.

But that’s only part of the story.

Twenty eight percent of infrequent voters listed “I’m too busy to vote” as the main reason for not casting a ballot as part of a 2004 survey by the California Voter Foundation.

Twenty percent listed “There are no candidates that I believe in.”

More numbers: 66 percent of infrequent voters and 69 percent of nonvoters said they believe that politics are controlled by special interests and that is a reason not to vote.

Even more numbers: 29 percent of infrequent voters and 39 percent of nonvoters said they find election information untrustworthy.

To non-voters, I say get over it.

Hold on to your hang ups if you must, but vote anyway.

Voting for this guy or that girl is a responsibility of citizenry. The reason goes back to that scarifice and struggle thing I mentioned earlier.

Cast a ballot Tuesday even if your vote is not for me and remember the hard work of others to give you the opportunity to vote.

If nothing else, do it so you can complain if the guy, gal or issue you support doesn’t win.

Complaining is a right reserved for voters.

What do you think? Do you think your vote matters?

Thank you for reading the Dayton Daily News and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to exclusive deals and newsletters.

Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Dayton Daily News. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.

X