voting is your voice. use it.

Most of the people I know vote. It's been that way ever since college. I tend to hang out with politically-minded people who take pride in their civic duties. So maybe I'm preaching to the choir here.

When I was seventeen, I pre-registered to vote in Florida, because I wanted to make sure my voice would count. I registered in North Carolina when I was eighteen and in college. I went to the polls for the first time and was sorely disappointed when the other guy won.

I didn't get discouraged, though I did become quite sad in the days that followed the 2004 election. (I may have dressed all in black, may have taped a sign to my shirt that said something like "fuck the government." What can I say, I was eighteen.) Because see, here's the thing. Not voting is basically giving up your voice. That's why I have voted in every election I could since I turned eighteen. (With the exception of the 2010 election, because I apparently did not register in time. C'est la vie.) That's why I stood in line after work last Thursday to vote early and could not stop smiling.

I mean, I got to vote for marriage equality in Maryland! How awesome is that? (Question 6, Maryland, if you haven't heard.) I only wish I could vote in Florida, too, because abortion rights are at stake. I've urged friends and family in the state to vote against Amendment 6, because it is desperate in Florida. Because I believe in women. Because if we start losing ground, I'm afraid of where we may end up.

I don't know what the arguments for Romney are, if there are any that can withstand scrutiny. I've had friends say they aren't scared of a Romney presidency, because who knows, maybe he'll flip-flop back towards center. But I am. I am scared of what would happen if we as a nation elect that man. I am scared for women's rights and LGBTQ rights.

What this boils down to is: vote. Voting is your voice. Use it.