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Go ahead - I dare you ... DON'T vote

November 05, 2006|by TERRY HEADLEE

I've given this a lot of thought and have decided that maybe it's not such a bad idea if you decide to stay home on Election Day.

You're probably thinking there was a misprint in the previous sentence.

Well, no, there isn't - as ludicrous as that might sound.

The way I figure it, my vote becomes more powerful if fewer of you show up Tuesday to cast your ballots.

I decided I like this kind of power.

Power is good.

And there aren't too many more powerful things you can do in your lifetime than determine the outcome of an election.

After all, elected officials are the people who enact policies that affect your everyday life and determine how much money they can deduct from your paycheck and grab out of your wallet.

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Don't worry, I've been keeping up on the issues, so I know who can best represent you.

In other words, I've got you covered.

Of course, I'm not guaranteeing anything, so if some nutball slips into office after garnering less than 10 percent of the registered voters (which happens more than you think), then don't blame me.

Just an FYI: I tend to vote along conservative lines, so you liberals out there might want to come out Tuesday if for no other reason than to cancel my vote.

Or am I really a closet liberal using reverse psychology to get the liberals out to vote because I don't want the conservatives to win?

Who knows? Who cares?

Actually, it doesn't really matter, particularly if you don't vote, and my guess is quite a few of you won't.

And that's a sad commentary on our society.

I'm tired of getting on the soapbox and preaching about the need for many of you to exercise your constitutional right.

I'm weary of pointing out that there are some countries in the world that have a higher voter turnout even though women can't participate in their elections.

In West Virginia, you can walk into a courthouse during business hours (including Saturdays) and vote at any time prior to the election.

In Maryland, you now can vote by absentee ballot and don't have to give a reason.

What's even more incredible is that you legally can leave work to go to the polls on Election Day - and in many cases, you still can get paid.

Despite that, you'd rather stay at work. Go figure.

Obviously, it's not a big deal to some of you, so I decided that since you want me and others to carry the load, then why fight it?

That way, I can get what I want, and you can take your chances.

I guess you'll know how well we did come Nov. 8.

And if you don't like the results, well, isn't that a shame.

I never said you'd like my choices, but if you don't vote, you'll have to live with them.

Terry Headlee is executive editor of The Herald-Mail. He may be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 7594, or by e-mail at terryh@herald-mail.com

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