I was a political science major in college. Mostly it was a philosophy-type degree on political theory, but the focus my last year was on the American electoral system specifically: why people vote. I don't remember the details or numbers anymore, but I remember there really is no mathematical explanation for why people vote.
The chance that your individual vote will affect the outcome of an election (we're talking America here, not proportional representaion systems) is some absurd 10 to the negative 42nd power or something. I can't remember exactly, but your odds are better at winning the lottery in most states. So it makes sense that voter turnout is low, but what doesn't make sense is that anyone turns out at all. There's clearly some other factor in there that just can't be measured -- the sense of duty, or the guilt if you don't, or some idealism and hope that we all keep hidden in our cynical minds.
All that being said, I voted today. I'll be in England on election day -- I know, I know, totally UnAmerican, but amidst my running round town getting everything I need to be gone for a month and getting the housesitter/roommates situated, I went and voted early. It was just one more thing on my massive To Do list, and honestly, I almost just skipped it in favor of the the dry cleaners or a fancy coffee drink. But I'm glad I went.
A lot of you have asked me who I'm voting for for Louisville Metro Mayor. I've thought -- probably over-thought -- about this long and hard, and I've decided to avoid posting an endorsement. My blog isn't political, and I'm sure many of you are tired of receiving things in the mail day after day, looking at yard signs, and seeing politics take over Facebook. So the last thing I want to do is turn this blog -- one that I think most of you turn to for a laugh or an adventure story -- into a political platform. I also don't want to turn the comment box on Blogger or Facebook into a forum for arguments. That's what the Courier-Journal or VilleVoice websites are for.
I also get annoyed when musicians and artists start spouting politics in general, so until I have the money and clout start a foundation, I think I will avoid such discussion. Maybe. I get more and more tempted as I get older to start using the blog for a bigger good deed than just entertainment. But for now, I think I'll keep mostly quiet. Mostly.
I will say that if you want to know who I believe in for Louisville mayor, message me and I'll discuss. But let's leave that to one on one and not the blog.
(Of course now that I'm saying that, I'll whine that there's one particular Democratic candidate who I most definitely did not vote for. His daily posters in my mailbox are driving me mad, especially this week when on Monday I received one stating how he was a "Green" candidate, then his campaign continued to send three more posters this week. The greenest thing about that is that they went directly into my recycling box.)
I think somehow the message of this blog is that it's easy to go out and vote. Primaries are important, and your local elections are probably the most important of all. Vote early at 810 Barrett Ave if you will be out of Louisville on Tuesday. It's easy, and it took me all of 2 minutes to show my ID and fill out my ballot. The trip to the dry cleaners wasn't nearly as easy.