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My Election Confession (And Why It’s Not Black and White for Me)

 

I’m not voting today.

Correction: I can’t vote today.

No, I’m not an illegal immigrant. I don’t have a criminal past … no federal offenses. And, I wasn’t hit by Sandy and left unable to make it to the polls.

The truth is, I don’t have a valid ID that shows my current address and state of residence for me to register.

Really.

Since the move, I just haven’t taken the time to do it. And, you must have your ID to register something like 60 (?90–I can’t remember) days before an election. So, here I sit, the night before the election knowing that I won’t vote in the first election since … well, I can’t remember the last time I didn’t vote.

While I feel guilty for it (I really do), I’m also not that upset because I’m not that thrilled with things and who is running. So, this way forces me not to make a decision.

Look, call it what you want–a cop-out, stupid, irresponsible, lame, un-American. You probably can’t come up with a word or phrase that I haven’t thought of myself. (But, I’m sure some of your words will find a way into the comments, but that’s ok. I’ll take one on the chin.) I’m an educated woman. I’ve been considered fairly intelligent. I’m involved. And? I’m not voting.

Why I’m Not Voting

It’s just not that easy for me–there’s no black and white a-ha! for me like for some people. You see, while candidates have spent hundreds of millions of dollars (not including outside spending), this is happening in the good old United States of America:

  • 15 million kids are in poverty
  • 1 in 5 kids are at risk of hunger
  • Over 20% of families don’t have enough food
  • 1 in 4 full-time working adults don’t make enough to support their family
  • 30 million people are living just above the poverty line, making them ineligible for assistance
  • (source: Monkey Do Project)
So while campaigns are spending millions and using precious time and energy to create those awful mud-slinging commercials, neither candidate could take the time to address some of the poorest people (or issues) in the United States–those in Appalachia.

Poor People Votes Don’t Matter?

According to WOUB Media, a public broadcasting service of Ohio University, Appalachian people are not being heard for this election. Check out what WOUB said for Ohio Appalachia:

An October Obama rally at Ohio University was the first time a sitting president had spoken in Athens, or anywhere near southeast Ohio, since 1968.

Of the President’s more than 20 campaign stops in the state, that’s the only one in the region, according the Associated Press (as of October 25). 

Governor Romney hasn’t seen much more of Appalachia.

He’s made campaign stops in nearly 40 Ohio cities and towns. 

Only five came close to southeast Ohio –-  all in communities on the outskirts of the region.

One Appalachian resident told WOUB, “I haven’t seen anything to make me think that this person or that person is the man to want to go for. So, I don’t follow [the election] that close because I haven’t found anything strong enough for me to believe in.”

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So you see, it’s not a Republican or Democrat issue. It doesn’t matter to me if the candidate is black or white, male or female, an elephant or a donkey. This is a people issue for me, and I don’t see my vote (for either candidate) making it better for these people who are hurting today … right now.

Sorry if that makes me un-American, but at least it makes me human. Right? No? Can we vote on it?

[Image Nirots]

Along with being a contributor to PrimeParentsClub.com, Jacqueline Wilson is: Appalachia Advocate~Supporter of Women~Writer~Accidental Pit Bull Advocate. Founder and executive director of Monkey Do Project and co-author of 50 Shades of Frayed: What Happens When 'I Do' Becomes 'Not Tonight': A Humorous Mompilation.