Friday, February 13, 2009

Change, and the push toward it

Here in Georgia, when you cast your vote, you get a little “I’m a Georgia Voter” sticker. With the most recent election, I was just a little prouder of that sticker.

About a year ago, during campaigns for the election of our 44th president, I found myself reading a blog for just about the first time in my life. It was a few clicks off of something I was researching and it captivated me. It was the Rock the Vote blog, and this particular post was discussing a then hot issue facing young and low income voters.

The post was entitled “Supremely Wrong.” I had actually just heard the same issue discussed that morning on my favorite radio station, NPR. Basically, many Americans were up in arms about the development of a strict voter photo ID law that the Supreme Court didn’t knock down as anticipated. Given what I knew and understood about both the photo ID issue and the Rock the Vote organization, I felt compelled to get involved for the first time in a blog environment. I wrote so much that I didn’t think the blog owner would actually post the comment—especially since I wasn’t exactly jumping on the bandwagon of their perspective on the matter. But the thoughts were churning, and I had to speak my piece. To my surprise, the comment was posted and was not contested.

I figured maybe I had something to say that people would be interested in. And so began my foray in to the culture of blogging. Considering the historical significance of that post, I thought it would be appropriate to share it on my own blog (albeit 10 months later). Here is the archived page of the article in question. And here was my comment/rant/motivational speech:

I appreciate efforts that posts like this make to educate voters on the Photo ID issue, but my opinion on the matter is still without form. If voter fraud poses a potential problem, be it in Indiana or elsewhere in the nation why not take proactive steps to safeguard the voting process. Should we only invest our wisdom in hindsight scenarios? While I'm still gathering thoughts on the matter of a voter Photo ID law, I think I'd benefit from some conversation around the validity of the law's foresight. Is the requirement for voters to produce a Photo ID a bad idea? Does it really prevent, or even deter young adults, low-income individuals, minorities and/or the elderly? How?

What I do feel is sad that the supreme court's ruling could actually dampen the surge in the political participation of the nation's youth. I wonder how many copies of Grand Theft Auto IV wouldn't have been purchase if stores were required to card purchasers. How many iPhones would have collected dust on shelves last year if Apple stores required Photo IDs?

Point is our nation's youth is nothing if not resilient and resourceful in the face of a challenge that stands between what they have and what they want. Why should we predict it a lost cause to influence them to have that same vigor about their political voice?

As a minority voter who hails from a low-income family I have managed to form at least this opinion; Rock the Vote should certainly acknowledge the challenge strict photo ID laws present its impactful followers and take part in righting a possible wrong, but with a tone and character consistent with its long standing, eighteen-year mission, mobilize young people to effect positive change--social and political--in their lives and communities. A mantra to which I'd add "against all odds." It is not merely the "ease" of voting that should attract America's youth, but the thrill and the rush of adding one more set of hands to the push toward real change.

1 comment:

  1. This is an awesome point of view. I agree totally, let's get excited about doing what is right, against all odds.