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Davis, California

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Column: Voting troubles

I am a failure as a poli sci major. Today is Election Day, but I will not be taking part in it. I registered to vote too late. Yes, I logged onto the “Rock the Vote” website, thanks to influences from musical moguls like Diddy and Justin Timberlake, filled out the entire form, even using my Davis address, only to read the fine print: for California, voters must register at least 15 days in advance. After cursing for a good 10 minutes, I finally came to terms with it. Ah, well, I guess there’s always next year.

Exactly one year from now, hopefully many of you will be voting in the national presidential election. I would never forgive myself if I forgot to register for the big one, especially since I get e-mails from the Obama campaign. Voting takes a lot of effort and I know I’m being incredibly hypocritical, but it’s important to get out there and vote.

I know voting takes time, and you’re busy. I hate to blame my forgetfulness on being busy but I’ll do it anyway. I have midterms, essays and fraternity stuff, on top of trying to catch up on reading and staying healthy (both of which I’m not doing so well on). Between attempting to study and lurk hotties on Facebook, there’s not enough time in the day.

Of course, even when I turn off my laptop and sit down to look at class notes, I glance up to see the month’s PG&E bill staring at me. There goes studying, time to pay the bills. While writing the check, my stomach starts to growl. I open the fridge to get some food only to find that I’m out of everything. It’s time for a Safeway run.

What I’m saying is that finding time in our busy schedules to remember to register punctually can be difficult. Maybe it would be useful to create a calendar reminder on your phone or perhaps walk around with a neon green Post-It note on your face. You won’t be able to read it, but every time you look in the mirror you’ll attempt to read that green thing, which will in turn remind you.

If walking around with a Post-It on your face doesn’t appeal to you, maybe thinking about the benefits of voting will help. First of all, you get a sticker, which I am very sad that I am missing out on. Who doesn’t want an awesome red, white and blue “I Voted” sticker to display proudly on themselves? The sticker comes with automatic bragging rights. Since I have a late December birthday and have never been able to vote before, I have always been jealous of my friends who came back from voting with those badass stickers.

Maybe the sticker isn’t enough for you and you care more about the issues and candidates. Whether you’re for Rick Perry’s flat-tax plan or President Obama’s jobs plan, there could be a lot riding on your vote. Obviously, for today’s election these issues are not as pressing, but there may certainly be issues in your local area that you care about. Take some time to look over the ballots before voting; I know it sounds cliché, but you could make a difference.

Perhaps you couldn’t care less about politics. (Ok, honestly, who are you people?). I understand that everyone varies in interests but, chances are, an issue that you care about may be on a ballot somewhere. If you’re an avid biker, you may be concerned about sustaining bike lanes (just ask Sen. Rand Paul, who tried to shut them down) or if you’re in a “cannabis-induced haze,” you may be concerned about the legalization of marijuana. Don’t dismiss politics because you think all of our politicians are screw-ups or not trustworthy. Ultimately, if no action is taken, we’re going to have to deal with those untrustworthy screw-ups in government. Sounds like a nightmare to me.

I know I sound very hypocritical since I registered too late but isn’t too late better than never? Sure, I blamed it on my lack of time, but I know that it was more my fault in procrastinating. If you know anyone like me, make sure to stay on their asses about registering to vote on time.

As students at a pretty politically active university, it only seems right that we make our voices heard in government. Plus you get stickers, bragging rights and the feeling that you’re making a difference. I couldn’t ask for a better November Tuesday.

MEDHA SRIDHAR is still silently bitching about her excellent procrastination skills. Feel free to reprimand her yourself at mdsridhar@ucdavis.edu.


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