getting readiest: more elections prep
Posted by adiamondinsunlight on March 7, 2009
Thanks to Blacksmith Jade and Jester for passing along the ads I’ve been finding about voter registration – and thanks to those of you who find this kind of stuff less engrossing than I do.
This morning something even more useful found its way into my inbox: the same advertisement I posted on Wednesday, framed by a note from the Ministry of the Interior and Lebanon’s baladiyas, a set of FAQs (with answers!) and a list of numbers to call for questions regarding personal status and voter eligibility:
This is a great, great PSA. It educates voters and it empowers them. (Of course, this doesn’t guarantee that calling any one of these numbers will put you in touch with someone helpful and/or motivated. That’s a global problem, as those of you who have dealt with such legendary U.S. institutions as the driver’s license, post, and/or Social Security Administration offices know all too well.)
The number of Lebanese friends I have who participated in some pro-Lebanon activity in 2005 is very high. But the number of Lebanese friends I have who voted in the 2005 election is very low. Some felt that their votes would not count; some faced discrimination when they tried to register at the baladiya; and some felt that regardless of who won the elections, their voices as citizens would be ignored. Their stories – and the turnout number – break my heart. I would love to see a record voter turn-out in June, on all sides, because people who vote are more likely to see themselves as stakeholders in other aspects of civic life as well.
For me each election brings the promise of a new beginning and the chance to reaffirm the meaning of democracy. As an American, I feel that I honor my ancestors and the ideals of my country when I cast my vote – even when the candidate or proposition I support doesn’t win. As a woman, I feel that I honor the men and women who struggled to make this country a real democracy, in which all citizens, regardless of race or sex, can participate.
I hope that those of you who can vote in June feel similarly (well, with obvious adjustments for my male readers), and I hope that you do vote. And if you haven’t double-checked your registration, please do so before Tuesday!