Come getcha some democracy!
-By Leah Bonnema (Stand Up Comic)
The deadline in New York to register to vote in the November 6th (that's one day after my birthday in case you were wondering- SCORPIO with a scorpio rising sign - I don't even know what that means but it sounds MOODY) election is October 12th. For your State's deadline check here.This year was the first ever National Voter Registration Day, it was on Tuesday September 25th. NVRD is non-partisan with the goal trying to sign up the millions of Americans who are eligible to vote but are not currently registered. Groups backing NVRD believe that many of these Americans would have liked to vote in 2008 but missed the deadline to register or said that they didn't not know where or how to do it.
I signed up to volunteer on National Voter Registration Day through NYPIRG and went to the Roosevelt Avenue Subway stop on Queens - the epicenter of the 7/E/R/M trains - to register people to vote (or more accurately, to try to get people to register to vote). Being that I spent many years trying to bark (flyer) people into comedy shows, this was significantly less of an ego bruiser.
NVRD is non-partisan so this loud mouth actually kept her political opinions to herself throughout the day in the name of democracy. Well, it was in the name of 'fairness' - if it was for the collective good I would have told everyone who to vote for because clearly I know best (ONLY CHILD).
I was so happy to see people who were genuinely interested in learning how they could make a difference in the issues they cared about. Just knowing those people are out there really warms my fatalistic heart.
Not registered? Below are a few cites that will give you all the details you need:
*NYC Registration Info: 1-866-VOTE.NYC / www.vote.nyc.ny.us
*New York State Voter Registration: 1-800-FOR-VOTE / www.elections.state.ny.us
* Maine Voter Registration Info: There is no deadline in Maine on voter registration leading up to the election if you are planning to register in person - yet another reason why Maine ROCKS - if you want to register by mail it must be post marked 21 business before the election, I will let you do the math.
*Check out www.HeadCount.Org to register to vote.
Also I found out about this very interesting cite ISideWith.com where you fill out a survey on the issues you care about and it will tell you which candidates feel that same as you do. The results were actually a little surprising for me.
Get out there and vote! Make a day of it! I am going to wear a shirt on election day that says "I have an opinion and no one is burning me at the stake for it - thanks suffragists!