This is the first election in a long time where I have not either been a volunteer or had picked my candidate of choice well before it was time to vote. But this time, I was a pure consumer. I was the one who had to be convinced rather than doing the convincing.
Overall, that made it feel like a much different election. A lot less work and stress, for sure. But here is the thing that is sticking with me:
About two weeks ago, I narrowed the field down to two candidates. I then contacted (and was contacted by) several people who are usually of like mind. A lot of us were in the same position. We spent a non-trivial amount of time trying to decide which one was going to get our vote.
My first reaction after the race was called was: It didn’t matter. Neither candidate I was considering won, and even if my entire little cabal all voted in sync, it still wouldn’t have mattered. All that analyzing I did was moot.
Like a lot of you, I get annoyed when there is low election turnout. I usually can’t fathom why people don’t vote. But yesterday, I got a sniff of it. When I’m working on a campaign, my vote feels like a part of something bigger, something I’m doing in concert with thousands of other people. Yesterday, I was just one vote that didn’t make any difference. So, while I still would not consider not voting in an election, I can begin to understand where someone is coming from when they say they don’t vote because it doesn’t matter.
I’m not sure what to do with this. Maybe it will be a good “I know how you feel” story to begin with when I’m trying to convince someone to vote in the future.