After the excitement and frustration of face to face lobbying, marching around the Capitol, hearing passionate speeches, and singing songs in unison, voting can seem like a real drag. You have to get registered, then you have to put it in your calendar so you’ll remember, then you actually have to go. Now, if you know me, you’ll know that’s not at all how I feel, but I’m trying to put myself in a regular person’s shoes. It’s just so important to me -- that democratic step of making your voice heard -- that I am compelled to be at the polls each time the doors open.
I know some people feel like their vote doesn’t count, that they are one of many and their opinion will be drowned out. Let me assure you in these state races that is absolutely not the case. Just a quick story here, were it not for 127 people who did NOT vote for me in 2008, I would likely not be in this job. Out of over 12,000 votes cast, the decision came down to 127. There have been many more far closer races than mine in our state. It matters friends. It really does.
This time, it matters to our students. If you went to the Capitol full of hope or you emailed your legislators with your thoughts on the importance of public education, that is great. But it is only one of many necessary steps to build the public education system our children deserve. If you really want the change for which you’ve been advocating, you won’t sit down until all possibilities for achieving that change are exhausted. Voting is the next and really most important step.
Our children, our state’s very future, are why you must make it to the polls on June 26. But you’ve got to sign up first. As a civic side note, Oklahoma has a closed primary system, BUT the Democratic Party is allowing registered Independents to vote in their primary and runoff elections this year and next. So if you register as a Republican, you’ll have only Republicans on your ballot June 26, but if you register as a Democrat or Independent, you will have Democrat candidates on your ballot.
Tomorrow is the LAST day to register if you want to vote in the June 26 primary in Oklahoma. But don’t fret; it is still entirely possible to get that task checked off your list. No judgement if you haven’t already registered to vote either! Just get it done. Please.