May 20, 2009

Did you vote Tuesday? True confession: I didn’t

Yeah, and I didn’t go to the Neiman Marcus meeting either. I’m a civic reprobate. And because of some new cable installation issue, I couldn't watch American Idol. So, I couldn't cast my vote for that outcome either.

Excuses, excuses for not voting in Tuesday's special election:

Deadlines at work. Late at work Monday night. The minor but typical family crisis. No time to study ballot measures to understand why 1B wouldn’t work if 1A didn’t pass. Not a Mt. Diablo Unified parent, but I’m sure my Walnut Creek school district friends will be displeased with me because they were urging us to get out to vote to save education $$$.

Slept poorly Monday night. Tired on Tuesday. No time at work to scan recommendations from different newspaper editorial pages. Listened to different opinions from different people I respect. Including hubby, who voted by absentee ballot. Tired when I got home. Too tired to do any quick studying. Didn’t feel I should vote unless I was more informed on what I was voting on.

Also, fed up with our dysfunctional state government, but I know that’s no excuse. I always vote. Always take pride in taking my son with me to vote.

Failed to perform my civic duty as a member of our great democracy. Am I the only one out there? I know I’m not.

One report says that fewer than a quarter of registered voters, and as few as 19 percent, voted, according to the Secretary of State’s office.


Anonymous said...

When I went to my polling place at 6:30pm last night, only 150 people had voted. I was 151...and I didn't see anyone waiting behind me.

Anonymous said...

Soccer Mom,
If you spent less time on this blog you would have had plenty of time to study the issues.

Anonymous said...

Oh snap!

Anonymous said...

I used to find going to the polling place to be really inconvenient. However, I recently started voting by mail. All I had to do was sign the voting postcard and mail it in. I received a ballot by mail, and I voted. It was very simple. You could try that next time.

Anonymous said...

How could you Soccer Mom? Hello? Vote by mail? You would have voted for American Idol buy not for or against the props?

DodgerDog said...

Shame on you. We're all busy, tired, over-worked, over-scheduled, too many distractions, etc.

It is our right and responsibility to vote.

I believe not voting also means not voicing opinion on the measures/candidates on a ballot. Didn't vote? Then you don't get to complain.

Soccer Mom, I must say I'm surprised and disappointed. Reading your blog, I would not have guessed you would not take the time to study the issues and mark your ballot accordingly.

Soccer Mom said...

Anons 2:58 and 4:14: You got me. Funny.

Meanwhile, yeah, I'm a Loser with a capital "L." I should wear a scarlett letter. Or letters? NV (non-voter).

Others, thanks for the suggestion that I do it by mail. Part of my failure is that I'm actually one of those people who LIKE to go to the polling place on the day of election.

I guess, though, I could still do it by mail and turn it in on election day? Isn't that right?

Not to get myself off the hook here, but there were LOTS of other people who didn't vote. From one account I read, this was one of the lowest voter turnouts in California history. So, what's THAT about?

Sure, the answers may seem obvious, self-evident. Weren't there people who CHOSE NOT to vote as a kind of protest against the sick, dysfunctional condition of our state government?

Soccer Mom said...

Dodger Dog,
Your comment came in as I was posting mine.

Yes, I could have done better on studying and being informed on these issues and voting.

Then again, so could ALL the other people who DIDN'T vote.

Because I'm in the majority of voters who DIDN'T vote doesn't excuse my actions (or inactions).

But we have to recognize that there is something seriously wrong when so many people don't bother, are fed up, disenchanted, overwhelmed, whatever.

I don't say I have solutions, and, no, I'm not going to complain about the consequences of yesterday's election results.

I do feel bad about not voting, because I don't take that right lightly, despite my American Idol comment.

I can't say I have an absolute perfect voting record, though I'm pretty sure I've made an effort to vote in almost every election (and that included when I lived overseas) since I turned 18. I might have missed one or two of these special elections here or there when I was younger.

Actually, wouldn't that make my record better than some politicians?

DodgerDog said...

Soccer Mom,

I don't disagree with your latest post. I just expected more from you (like you owe me anything;)- you strike me as educated, informed, and concerned.

One of the big issues in this country is the lack of people who do care; it's much easier to sit back and watch American Idol, or play with the Wii, or go to the movies, than it is to actually read, to study, to care.

I believe the typical American these days is uninformed, or the information they do get is from Jon Stewart or Jay Leno. Nothing wrong with watching them, but it's entertainment, not news or education.

Anonymous said...

Soccer Mom,

I didn't vote either. I'm so disillusioned with our screwed up government. I don't have the guts to post my name to this...but I will email you to tell you.

I didn't feel like wasting my time, rather spent time doing something I making a real difference volunteering in my community. I was too tired and exhausted to bother with the gloom and doom at the polls.

Soccer Mom said...

Hey DodgerDog,
First, thanks for commenting on this site.

Second, thanks for assuming that I'm educated, informed, and concerned.

I try to be, but obviously I fell down on this issue. That's a fact, and I do wish I had done better.

I also admire your concern about how people in this country don't care. You're right, that it is easier to sit back and watch American Idol, or play with the Wii, or go to the movies, than it is to actually read, to study, to care.

My personal approach to all this? I like to read, study and care. I find topics I get pretty passionate about. That's why I work in the field that I do; that's why I do this blog.

But, frankly, I also need the silly fluff. And to zone out.

In an ideal world, I would have been prepared to vote, gone to my precint, voted, come home, and goofed off with my son, watching THAT show, making snide remarks about Simon, Paula, Randy, etc. We would have giggled together.

THEN, I would have switched to see if I could catch the tail end of the Neiman Marcus vote.

Alas, technology (new cable installation issue) and my own lack of will/laziness/whatever got in the way.

Again, I'm not trying to offer an excuse. I hope it doesn't come off that way, because I do believe it's important for people to be informed about issues and to vote.

We Americans take that right for granted, don't we? I've lived in and/or visited countries where people truly didn't have that ability.

But that's what happened with me last night in this instance, and, DodgerDog, I appreciate that you took the time to engage in this discussion with me.

Anonymous said...

Soccer Mom,

I think journalism, especially a volunteer blog such as this, is a great community service. I'm a big fan, though an exhausted fan who emailed you earlier. :)

Family, fun, rest and American Idol would have been just a fine way to spend an evening over an hour at the polls.

No regrets in who I voted for - I voted for my life last night!

Keep up the great blog.
Good night,

DodgerDog said...


Why spend an hour at the polls? Vote by mail ballots were sent to my house approx. 4 weeks ago. I can fill them out at my leisure, and mail them in, or drop them off at the polls on election day.

If all of us had your attitude, "I voted for my life last night", this city, county, state, and country WILl go down the drain (maybe quicker than some think it is.) Watch Idol and rest- that's fine. If you couldn't find an hour in your life sometime in the past 4 weeks to study the issues and vote, than understand your complaints or comments are useless. You had a shot to make your voice heard, and you chose not to. That's your choice, but please remember when your family, neighbors, co-workers, etc. are discussing the state's fiscal difficulties, to KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT. You have no right to complain.

But I'm sure your opinions about who won Idol are perfectly valid.

Anonymous said...

Don't feel too bad. 3.9 million people did vote. We are happy to take care of all that pesky choice for you and the rest of those who don't have time to deal with it.

But 100 million people voted for American Idol, so it is totally clear where people's priorities are.

We are the laughing stock of real democratically elected governments, and usually we get the government and the leaders we deserve.

Castle Hill Bill said...

SM- OK, you've beat yourself up enough already! You missed one. It's a downright dirty rotten shame that an election was even held. For at least the last 30+ years (remember Prop 13) our elected officials in Sacramento have either not listened to the electorate or not had the political balls to take a stand to do the right thing, political ramifications be damned, and have left the legislating up to us by way of the initiative process. Instead of voting the SOB's out, we the voters have been doing their job, and rather poorly, by voting in guaranteed funding for certain institutions, passing bonds to acquire properties we can't afford to maintain, even passing bonds to offset the increase in electric rates that was caused when we allowed the deregulation of the electric industry that was supposed to reduce our costs (another failed idea). Talk about backassward thinking! We have proven that WE do not know how to handle our tax monies. We voted assemblymen and senators in to not only represent us, but to also study the issues and consult experts and to make decisions themselves and have the cajones to do the right thing for the state and not pass the buck for the hard unpopular decisions to us. I believe the results of this election show the people want to rip up the state credit card and have the legislature show some leadership and make us bite the bullet and start living within our means. It is going to be hella painful for awhile, but the longer we put off living within our means and paying off our debt the worse it will get. We should not be legislating thru the initiative process. Make Sacto do their job!

Anonymous said...

Well said 11:55! The initiative process has been a disaster for California. The legislators have abdicated their responsibility and put these tough, complex decisions to a public that is simply not prepared to make these decisions. Hence the concept of a Representative Democracy! The public had every right to reject this latest round of nonsense. The legislators need to hear this loud and clear. Go to work, do your job, find solutions, and have the courage to vote for them yourselves! Or please leave so we can find new legislators who will.

Masterlock said...

Yo soccer mom, I didn't vote either. I had scheduled my afternoon to allow for time for it but then my plans fell apart and schedule got crushed. I was feeling awful about it but then I realized that my choices seemed to be: a. vote no on everything except F and screw the politicians over but also millions of little kids and teachers in the process or b. vote to raise my already way too high taxes and give those crackheads in Sacramento more money for their spending addiction.

Also, don't take any BS from people on here about not voting, you do the best you can and some half ass California propositions aren't worth losing sleep over - especially when we've known they would get crushed for months.

Anonymous said...

I voted. I always vote. My son wasn't planning on voting, and I pressured him into voting.

I truly feel is a privilege and a moral obligation to vote.

I'm sorry that all of our communities, schools, and services face further cuts.

Anonymous said...

Dodger Dog,
Yes, I voted for my life last night. If you only knew what I have done to "save the world" and do my part...perhaps you would be less critical of others.

Opinions are fine, but thinking I don't concern myself, or I'm uneducated about issues, well then you are absolutely incorrect.

And, I'm not a televsion viewer. I couldn't tell you anything about American Idol. I can only write what I feel and know. If you knew me...and you knew I chose "my life" last night...they you would understand why.

I've given a tremendous amount of my life, time, money, thought, compassion, care, concern, generosity to those less fortunate. I am a person who cares about others more than you could ever ever ever imagine!

I chose my life because I was truly exhausted. The end.

Anonymous said...

first - I voted by mail

but I have to say something about Jon Stewart and alternative thinkers. That guy's show gets me thinking far more critically than the so-called news.

The so-called news tells you every 4 minutes or so, that one should return to watch the "big story" - then they show it at the end for like 30 seconds...

The so-called news also has turned its hosts into celebrities, so instead of focusing on stories, they focus on ratings - when I was a kid I cannot recall seeing ads for the anchors - as if that's why I would watch the news - to see the personality... I USED to watch the news to get the NEWS!

Now I google for news and ENJOY IMMENSELY watching Jon Stewart and the Onion News network... I get more real thinking from them in 30 minutes than I do from the entire TV news system in a month - and I get to laugh which is good for my health instead of bolstering faux news stories designed to create enough fear so that I will "stayed tuned".

Also, the TED seminars on the net are great too to see what the real thinkers are up to in this country.

anyone have other suggestions?

Anonymous said...

In Australia they had voter turnouts that were less than 20%. They instituted mandatory voting. There are fines if you do not vote. Voting now regularly reaches above 91%.

Can you imagine how much better the politicians would act if more than 90% of eligible voters were casting a ballot on their actions? It would be a new day.

I'd say mandatory voting, or you cannot renew your driver license!

Anonymous said...

Do the Corporations get to vote? Or just 'pay'? Or is there any difference?......

Anonymous said...

With unemployment at staggering levels, and corporations walking away with obscene profits or government bailouts, and executive managers of the crisis raking in criminal bonuses, I'd say corporations no not pay...

But they should pay, and A LOT!

Who says the pirates are in Somalia?

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:04

It is always easy to blame large corporations a big business for all of our financial woes and not carrying their own weight when it comes to taxes. Let us carry this one step the end of the day if corporations and businesses pay higher taxes, we the taxpayers end up footing the bill through higher costs for goods and services. Simple concept and not likely to change anytime soon.

What is your answer to this problem?

Anonymous said...

I think it would be fine. The politicos don't have the will to raise the peoples taxes, but they might have the will to raise the corporate taxes. The corporations pass along the taxes. Prices go up, we pay more, state finances pot hole repair, school teachers, state parks, etc.

We pay either way, but this would make the corporations part of the solution, not just sucking us dry in the greed game.