a confession I’d rather not confess – but I will anyway

Confession:

I have never voted in a presidential election.

There. I said it.

Now before you get all judgy on me, continue on.

This is not a proud piece of information to share. I’m actually quite embarrassed and ashamed. While I’ve been eligible to vote for the past four elections, I have not.

First, let me tell you why.

1. I find politics to be over-my-head. I’m sure if I put any amount of time into researching policies, watching the news, visiting political websites and reading current event publications, I would feel differently {or would I?!}. Instead, I spend my time researching recipes, watching Disney Jr., visiting design websites and reading novels.  Politics are just not part of my daily routine and for the most part, I don’t wish they were.

2. I find politicians hard to trust. I don’t know, maybe it’s all those terrible attack ads or maybe the fact that we all talk much bigger than we can walk, but politicians don’t come off as genuine and they rarely seem to keep their promises. Which makes it hard to really get behind anyone.

3. Since I don’t have a whole lot of information to go off of, and I don’t particularly feel strongly for any one candidate, I figure I should leave the voting up to the more-informed.

{I can hear all of you political-types groaning at your screen right now. Especially my cousin. And my husband.}

And so, for the past four elections, I have. I’ve left the voting up to the more-informed.

This time around I’ve felt convicted. Very convicted.

How dare I take this freedom for granted?

How many women, both before our time and throughout the modern world, would give anything for the opportunity to vote?

Yet here I am, tossing my ballot into the recycle bin because I don’t take this seriously. I don’t think my vote counts. I don’t care.

That’s not right and I know better.

Several weeks ago I shared these thoughts with some girlfriends, who surprisingly did not throw rocks at me, but instead shared similar sentiments. All are my age {30’s} with similar demographics {married/children/home owners/college graduates} and each of us do not value our voting privileges – or so it would seem because very few had actually voted in any of the previous four elections.

Which got me thinking … how many of you are in the same boat?

How many women out there {smart, capable women} do not vote each election because we feel uninformed and therefore like our vote is useless?

I may be completely off-base, but I’m guessing quite a few. Our lives are full, our passions lie outside the political arena, we make choices to read Real Simple over The Economist and watch Dancing with the Stars over the Presidential Debate. It all sounds like chatter that our ears and minds can’t comprehend anyway, so we tune out. “Let the more informed make the decisions”, we say. And if not outright, we say it by our actions.

But we should not and we can not.

We have to vote.

Even though it’s over-our-heads.

Even though the candidates have flaws.

Even though our one vote may not make the difference in the outcome, collectively our votes do matter.

We really have to vote.

So here I am, confessing to you that I’ve taken this voting privilege for granted all my life. I am one of those {almost a quarter of the American population, by the way} who deliberately choose not to vote.

But this election is different. I’m growing up, being responsible, taking the freedom I have seriously and voting.

Won’t you join me?

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166 Responses to a confession I’d rather not confess – but I will anyway

  1. Rebecca November 3, 2012 at 10:41 am #

    The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. — Edmund Burke

  2. jamie November 2, 2012 at 1:24 pm #

    Perplexed by what? My point is we have a right and a duty to vote. If you have an opinion ,even one, and are willing to voice it, then get to the polls. As far as loss of connection between a candidate and what happens is Washington, yes sometimes it can get fuzzy, but that’s not a good enough excuse to not vote. For starters, everyone here has an opinion about abortion, which is a hot button *every* election. All that “no right to complain” means is do your part, and be responsible. If your not sure about the issues become informed the best you can and vote.

  3. Jenica November 2, 2012 at 11:43 am #

    YEA! So glad you are encouraging people to vote- it is so important! I believe it really is our responsibility to make decisions now, which may be difficult, in order for our children to receive the same opportunities and freedoms we have been so blessed to have! Good work and Congrats- doesn’t it just feel good to mark that ballot? :)

  4. jamie November 2, 2012 at 11:35 am #

    Emily, when I first read the title to your post I thought your confession would be, “Guys, I went through fast food today and ate 3 big macs.” Something of that nature. However, I wasn’t prepared for your true confession. I was really blown away!

    I’m further shocked to see how many others here who also don’t vote due to one reason or other. It seems lack of information or distrust of politicians is the common thread. Really? Lack of info in this day and age? Anyway, I’m not going to get all preachy, because I like you and love reading your blog, but I will say this, people who don’t vote have absolutely no right to complain about anything that happens involving US politics. I think you had a lot of courage saying what you did so publicly. -And I’m glad you’re voting!

    • Lisa November 2, 2012 at 11:46 am #

      I am continually perplexed by the statement – those who don’t vote have no right to complain. I vote btw, but am at a loss to make the connection between the cantidates I vote for and what actually goes on in Washington., and I would challenge anyone to make that pure connection.

  5. Sandy November 2, 2012 at 11:08 am #

    Hello Emily,

    Thank you so much for your sincere honesty…
    At first I got the chills and then decided to hear you out.

    As a new American citizen I now have (after 10 years) the freedom and right as all Americans to finally vote!
    I believe that if you are not an American you should not have that right… Hear me out… How and why should you be able to vote if you are not willing to convert or adapt to the country where you reside?
    My hubby is American and when we were living in Holland he was also not allowed to vote.

    Never ever did it “really” bother me that I could not vote here in America.
    I am not so I can not… was my motto and also… I was in way over my head and dazzled when I was trying to follow what all the government was talking about.

    I am happy to say that I can finally add myself to that list of voters.
    Now even more than ever… I do not want my vote to go lost!
    Also… my vote may not make the difference in the end… but if we all think that way ALL OUR VOTES WILL GO LOST ALL TOGETHER… AND WE COULD HAVE MADE A DIFFERENCE.

    Sometimes it is hard to know who is good and who is not and what they are all up to in their own personal agenda.
    They all have their flaws no one is perfect.
    As KWave the radio station once mentioned… vote for the one that speaks to you the most.
    Is that loosing your freedom or keeping it.
    Abortion or no Abortion?
    Obama care or not?
    More taxes or not?
    thriving businesses and opportunities for entrepreneurs or not…
    More debt for our kids to pay off or trying to make this country shine again!

    No need to continue I guess…
    Do vote if you can! Our lives and freedom depends on it! I will As an American AND AS A WOMAN AND AS A MOTHER OF DAUGHTERS!

    THANK YOU EMILY FOR BEING SO HONEST – IT SPEAKS OF STRENGTH – and CHARACTER!

    Hugs and have a great weekend!
    Sandy

  6. Jennifer November 2, 2012 at 6:10 am #

    I completely agree with you although I do vote and make my decisions by party line. I don’t feel like politics or politicians are very genuine and I certainly think their high level mumbo jumbo isn’t specific or detailed enough for my liking. Ask my 14 year old, I like specifics!

    If anyone can suggest a resource for details on the presidential candidates’ plans to decrease the jobless rate and increase the economy of our country, I am all ears!

  7. jami nato November 1, 2012 at 7:37 pm #

    you know, i sometimes think that people shouldn’t vote until informed. layne came home from school and he had a sticker on his shirt that said, i voted. i said, who for? he said, barak ohama. i was all, really? why? he said, because mitt ronney hates brown people. and he’s taking away PBS.

    LOL. completely misinformed. not to mention he couldn’t say their names. :)

    anyway, i have this discussion with people sometimes, like if you don’t agree with either candidate, should you really vote? lesser of 2 evils sort of a thing. i’m not saying that happens in every election but sometimes, i feel that way.

    so ya, i don’t judge you. it is a right to vote or to choose not to vote. that’s why it’s called a right.

    this comment is too long. anyway, i miss you!

  8. Jennifer H November 1, 2012 at 5:41 pm #

    I cannot relate at all to your post Emily. My husband has verbalized the same things you write here and, despite hearing them for all our married life, I still don’t get it. leslie(2comments above mine) said it beautifully though–as a Christian, I feel strongly that I owe it to my kids and country to vote. Speaking of kids-take them with you. They will love it and it will impress upon them how important it is. brava Emily!

  9. ter November 1, 2012 at 4:56 pm #

    thank you for being honest. and. thank you for changing your mind … and doing it differently this time around

  10. elz November 1, 2012 at 4:42 pm #

    This post makes me so sad. To think that there are citizens who don’t choose to vote just because you (and your friend) don’t feel informed; it’s shocking. And depressing. I’m glad you are finally voting but incredibly sad that this is your first vote. So many have given so much so that we can vote freely. Please don’t let this be your last vote!

  11. Leslie November 1, 2012 at 2:46 pm #

    Thank you, Emily, for sharing. I admit that I am frustrated to hear of voter apathy — but I appreciate, from the bottom of my heart, that you are honest and transparent in your blog. It’s easy to sit back and be proud of voting and taking part in our freedoms. It’s not so easy to honestly admit that something as important as this slipped through the cracks. Thank you for making a change. You are a beautiful mother of four, and your contribution to our country is already huge. Now you’ll contribute in one more way. Thank you for getting into the stream of citizens who try to make the best decisions about government and laws based on the little bit of information they have. And don’t forget to get the “I voted” sticker — the kids will like it.

  12. Anna November 1, 2012 at 2:35 pm #

    Emily…

    A few thoughts. Thank you for the honesty. As the writer of a well read blog, I appreciate the transparency, which is not always easy. And thank you for feeling convicted to vote. I have a brother who fights for our freedoms, and when we don’t exercise them, it leaves people like me wondering why. So, thank you for changing your mind this year.

    A big thought…women will likely decide this presidential election. And as a mother of small children, of all people, you should absolutely care about who leads this great nation! It is the future of the next generation that we vote for, and believe me, we need a brighter future for our children. Your group of 30ish girlfriends/moms should have a powerful impact on what happens next week. Man, we really need them to be informed and vote!

    Though I am a pretty convicted person and feel well informed on the issues, one of the most rock solid videos/messages I have listened to is the following:

    http://vimeo.com/m/52163082

    I hope you find it worth your listen…truly fantastic!

    Thanks again for sharing…God bless America, our right to vote and the future of this great Land!

  13. Harbormom November 1, 2012 at 2:25 pm #

    I hate politics as we know it today. I am married to a man for 42 years (we will both be 70 very soon) and he has never registered to vote either. I registered as soon as I was of age and I have voted in each election. I confess that I have no grasp of all those issues that are bandied about by the respective party candidates (and at least there are choices now for party affiliations), but I watch and listen to the candidates at every opportunity and, ultimately, go with my gut. Which one responds most directly to questions? Which ‘humanizes’ the issues. Which to I want making decisions that will affect whatever future I might have left. I am so glad you are going to vote. I hope everyone will.

  14. Jessie McGregor November 1, 2012 at 2:09 pm #

    I work in politics and therefore consider myself very informed, yet even I understand where you are coming from! The issues can be very complicated and all the reports and facts can be skewed to look one way or another….it gets intense and sort of depressing with all the conflict. That is why I love design….it’s so pretty in contrast from what I see everyday :)

    Anyways, I just wanted to say that if you have a friend, neighbor, or family member who you know is informed and trust to be educational and not overly bias, ask them to explain a few things to you. Better yet, ask a few people to get diverse information and viewpoints. I have many friends who do not pay attention, and don’t understand the complex issues, but they come to me and I try my best to explain things in a simple way that they will understand without skewing their opinion.

  15. chrissi November 1, 2012 at 12:28 pm #

    I grew up going to the polls with my parents and thinking of the day that I would be allowed to vote. Looking forward with great excitement. When I was old enough to grasp a bit more, my parents would sit with me and tell me what the ballots were for and why they were voting for each person or initiative.
    My husband and I do that today. We vote as a family. It doesn’t take long to discuss each choice and each member of our family feels like they mattered in the election.
    We explain the issues that our close to our hearts and faith, and why we are voting how we are.
    Vote with your heart and your head Emily. Embrace this gift you were given by those who came before you.

  16. AJ Grossman November 1, 2012 at 10:25 am #

    Voting is more about the president, What about your local school board, or a local law. Voting is not just for President. You don’t have to vote for all the items on the ballot that is important to you or your family. too bad that you think voting is just about the president’s office.

  17. Lori November 1, 2012 at 8:53 am #

    I wouldn’t vote in this election. I live in Canada, can’t vote in your election, BUT, have without even trying found out a lot of things I don’t like about both parties.

  18. Laura November 1, 2012 at 7:16 am #

    I think it’s great that you are getting in and voting! My only problem with elections is that I feel that there are many who go on “feelings” and don’t do their part to look at the issues. People should attack ideas and issues, NOT the candidate.

    People should research voting records of the party they support because there, they will find the actions which speak louder than campaign promises. Until we have serious campaign finance reform we will never be able to have real elections where we feel our vote counts. Because really, the party lines are so blurred anymore that is does cause this feeling that it doesn’t matter what we do.

    Even for me, somewhat of a political junkie, who votes in every election and reads from all sources and not just the ones who support my ideas, I still feel very disheartened at the process but love that I have the right to vote. So I vote and hope that one day there will be another party that can make real changes to the process.

  19. Kristen November 1, 2012 at 7:11 am #

    I totally hear you and can relate! No judgement here. Actually, it was so good to hear you honesty:)

  20. Sarah November 1, 2012 at 6:35 am #

    As a mother and a physician, I feel it is of utmost importance to vote, especially in this election. I practice in a free clinic and am very eager, for the sake of my patients and their need for personal care withOUT government interference, to vote AGAINST Obamacare. If allowed to contnue, it will inhibit the ability of physicians to care for their patients in the way they need. Freedom is threatened. So although Romney certainly isn’t perfect, he is miles better than the current president.

    I also take my kids with me to every election, and explain throughly what we are doing, as I want them to appreciate the priviledge we have.

  21. Jane H October 31, 2012 at 11:31 pm #

    My first instinct to your admission was anger, I must admit. Then, after a moments pause, I realized it took courage to admit your…how can I describe it…passing up of a great, hard-won right. I do not say this to be mean, or judgmental, but rather to express what I know, as a woman who grew up in the 70’s, and who struggled through being treated as a second class citizen while trying to forge a professional career, and earning less than 60% of every man with whom I worked. It can seen intimidating to trudge through all the hype, to get to the substance of a candidate’s position on things that matter. Keep in mind, it has not been all that long, historically, that women have had the right to vote. We must not squander what was so hard fought, and won.

  22. lindsay October 31, 2012 at 10:00 pm #

    Emily,
    Thank you for you sincerity and willingness to share, I’m constantly amazed at your ability to spill your heart for all the world to read. As the elections draw near, while voting is important, I’m continuously reminded of our Father’s promise- that He will never leave us or forsake us. Christ knew the outcome of this election long ago, and it is all in His good will and perfect timing. No matter who wins, it’s part of our Creator’s plan, and whether or not we agree with the elected President, it is our job as Believers to pray for them wholeheartedly and know that our true Leader awaits us in heaven. Yes, voting is important, but the most important thing is trusting in the Lord and knowing that He is in control.
    Thanks again for sharing your story.

  23. Deb Bartlett October 31, 2012 at 9:01 pm #

    Thank you for voting. It makes this mother ( who’s son is deployed protecting your freedom to vote) happy. He has been deployed over half of his marriage and this year celebrated her birthday & his birthday and their anniversary from half a world away. Please don’t ever take our freedom for granted. It can be gone as quick as a blink. Bless!

  24. Catherine October 31, 2012 at 8:38 pm #

    Thank you for your honesty, and I’m so glad you voted this year! It’s a basic right in our country, and my grandmother was a baby when women won the right to vote. That wasn’t very long ago, and women in France didn’t get the vote until 1945. People across the world are still fighting for that right today. Women and minorities in our country suffered and even died fighting for this basic right, and that’s something I take to heart. All the technicalities aside, your vote is your voice, and as the mom of two young boys, I want to set a good example for them. I also want them to grow up in a better world, and so I’m trying to help change that, if only a little. “Iron Jawed Angels” is an excellent movie about the suffrage movement in the U.S. and it will really open your eyes to what they endured so we can vote today.

  25. Kim October 31, 2012 at 6:24 pm #

    I’m so glad you’re voting this year! It is a huge privilege. I can’t help but wonder how we would feel about it if we were to lose it. As a lover of American History and all things patriotic I’m proud (but not in a boastful way) to say I have voted in every (major) election since 1980.

  26. Kimberly October 31, 2012 at 5:44 pm #

    Woohoo! Glad you saw the light and are voting and encouraging others to do the same. It’s not just our right, it’s a huge privilege to vote– one that women in our country didn’t have at one time. I hope others will do so because of your comments!

  27. Chrissy October 31, 2012 at 3:12 pm #

    you are so not alone! it’s so easy to make a lot of legit sounding excuses when you’re in the midst of mommy-hood. I didn’t vote last election, but I made it a priority this time around!

  28. Katie October 31, 2012 at 2:24 pm #

    You sound exactly like so many of my friends. Like you, they don’t believe their votes count and think politics are “over their heads”. Its only over your head because you allow it to be!!! You know that you have opinions and beliefs and it is SO easy to figure out which politicians agree with you. I and 33 years old and have voted every time there has been an election. While I applaud your decision to vote this time around, it is so frustrating to me that so many choose not to vote because they don’t understand how the decisions of their elected officials directly affect their lives….until its too late.

  29. Angel October 31, 2012 at 2:11 pm #

    I have always felt the same way. Very similar demo. as you except without the college ed. I can’t stand politics and avoid them at all costs. However, I have always voted in the Nov. elections (I don’t always vote in all the smaller ones in our area). Luckily, I married someone who is very knowledgeable about what is happening and he can also help explain to me what all the different ballot measures really mean. I also trust him and we have almost the exact same views. So we often sit down together and he explains everything and we vote.

    I’m glad you’ve decided to vote. I completely understand your view point, but I feel it’s our privilege and duty to vote, whether we like it or not.

  30. Mary October 31, 2012 at 2:09 pm #

    Get out and vote. It’s a lot of political rhetoric but exercise your right. And especially as a women—-read about what women before went through so we could vote today! when we become apathetic that’s how we gradually lose some of our rights. VOTE!

    • Courtney November 1, 2012 at 4:51 am #

      Voting isn’t a right! It’s important to stress that because our ability to vote could be stripped from us at anytime!

      And Emily, as a political consultant & aide in the Deep South, I’m so glad that you’re voting in a presidential election! It’s understandable that you don’t enjoy the game, but it’s SO important to be involved in the political process!

      • RoseMary King November 1, 2012 at 5:20 pm #

        Courtney,
        Have you read the 19th Amendment to the constitution? “Women’s RIGHT to Vote”. 1920. Voting is a RIGHT.

  31. judy h. October 31, 2012 at 2:08 pm #

    Emily, I’m NOT going to throw rocks at you. I understand completely how you feel.. I have done what I call”cafeteria style voting”. Some years I do and others I don’t because I either don’t understand the propositions and amendments or I simply don’t have a feeling one way or the other how it turns out. I’m going to make a true effort to vote this year, mostly because my son has told me what amendments and props. to vote for or against. As far as the presidential election is concerned, I’ll probably vote third party since I don’t really feel like either candidate is a REAL choice. Shame on me? Maybe. But I have to feel honest when I vote.

  32. Shelley Heck October 31, 2012 at 2:02 pm #

    All I can think of to say is Thank you for posting this. Thank you for your honesty and know how to put it in words to inspire so many of us who feel this way!

    Shelley
    VOTE 2012!!! =)

  33. Bonnie k October 31, 2012 at 2:00 pm #

    So glad you’re voting. Our grandmas and great grandmas paid a hefty price for this right. However skewed politics might seem, not voting is the same as saying we don’t value the price that was paid for this right that is really a privilege. Many places in the world don’t have it and would do about anything to get it.

  34. Brenda October 31, 2012 at 1:55 pm #

    I am naturally a person who craves peace- I have had to learn to deal with conflict, and politics is rife with it. With two sons in the Navy- how could I stand by? The reality is that I hate…yes hate…the concept of the electoral college. This country now has the capacity to count each and every vote.My vote could make a difference!! Now, we see efforts to make voting easier. PEOPLE! My sons were shot at, watched as their comrades bled to death in the name of your freedom to choose one of 90 different types of toilet paper! and to be able to be safe as a woman to go buy it by yourselves! We can’t get off the couch to vote? I too am Alaskan- and feel that anyone of eligible voting age should not get our annual dividend unless you register and do the voting…FAITH WITHOUT ACTION ….James 2:17

  35. Sharon October 31, 2012 at 1:41 pm #

    As an excited 18 year old, I hurried down to vote at the college campus in my first election. When I returned to the dorm, I found out my choice had pulled out as he was loosing. Bummer! From that excited person, I went through a time period when I would vote only for things I felt educated about or believed strongly about ….some years there were very few!!

    I used to think my vote wouldn’t count, but not too long ago (you may remember hearing about the election) voters in my state did not turn out to vote because EVERYONE was sure the respected, known candidate would be returned to the ballot and no one would vote for the unknown new comer. Wrong move!! Those miscalculations and laid-back attitudes led to one of the most famous write-in campaigns in recent years. Investigations into the unknown candidate showed he was an unsavory, dishonest person, but no one knew as he slid into the election. Yikes!!

    After the election, panic set in and the Alaska’s voters united to get a Write-in Campaign going. With everyone working together, Lisa Murkowski was re-elected. It taught us that every vote counts, and if we don’t get our vote in, we do not have the right to complain! I think Alaskan’s pay more attention now, and don’t take our voting ability for granted!

    I appreciate those who fought so that we have the right to voice with our vote, and i will be out next week to do my part. I am glad you will be too!!

  36. Jennine October 31, 2012 at 1:32 pm #

    I also recommend www.isidewith.com – a completely objective questionnaire that matches the candidates voting record/platform with your described values. For your 1st time don’t let anyone influence you ;)

  37. Anna October 31, 2012 at 1:21 pm #

    I’m so glad you’ve decided to take charge!
    The thing is… This election doesn’t just affect the U.S but the rest of the world too since the U.S is so influential. What ever U.S says goes so I’m hoping for 4 more years for a better world!!!

  38. Jennine October 31, 2012 at 1:16 pm #

    Regardless of missing the last four – CONGRATS ON GETTING IN THE GAME THIS TIME AROUND!
    May I recommend checking out minor party candidates as well? This will be my 5th presidential election vote and the major parties have never won my vote and I’ve never felt it thrown away.
    Also, moms out there – you don’t need a sitter to go and vote! Model your civic duty for your children by involving them!! Fellow constituents will not look down on squirmy squeaky squirts – better you bring them with than not come at all :)

    • shelley November 2, 2012 at 6:02 pm #

      I agree – I bring my young kids on purpose. It’s an important thing to see in action.

  39. Elizabeth October 31, 2012 at 1:09 pm #

    I agree that it’s hard to vote when you feel like there’s no one to vote for. But, I’ve heard way too many uneducated people’s opinions that it makes me want to vote for the principals I believe in (even if the certain candidate doesn’t seem fit). I have heard so many negative things from people who only vote because of skin color, etc. Yikes! As a college graduate in my late 20’s, I’ve always voted because that’s what I’ve been taught to do. As I get older, I understand better what I believe in and why and that helps push my vote. Thanks for sharing!

  40. Anne @ anne b. good October 31, 2012 at 12:58 pm #

    You were brave to share that. I appreciate it.

    I am cynical about politics and politicians. But I guess I am also convinced that as a citizen it’s my responsibility to vote, whether I’m cynical or not.

    My confession is that I don’t do enough homework before I vote. I mean, I have an opinion about the big races, but I don’t do the homework I should do regarding the smaller, local races. Or the judges (who have a whole lot of power). It can be overwhelming to think of all the homework that needs to be done. Still, it’s important.

    I haven’t read through all your comments, so I don’t know if anyone shared this with you, but I saw it just today before reading this, and thought it was appropriate for what you are speaking about, the consequences of doing nothing:
    http://youtu.be/EH_Izul6J5M

    • Nan October 31, 2012 at 9:43 pm #

      Thank you for sharing that video. I just watched it and sent it to my sons (19 and 25). Who, by the way, both voted by absentee ballots because one is away at college and the other away for work. Awesome video. As a side note: Sure wish I could draw like that!!

  41. Katie@Paisley Print Shoes October 31, 2012 at 12:57 pm #

    I’m so glad you are voting this year. And thanks for encouraging others to vote, too!!

  42. Devon October 31, 2012 at 12:28 pm #

    As an older mom, I just want to say thank you for being bold enough to “confess” where you’re at. Too many young moms do what every other mom is doing or at least saying they are. You are inspiring…and real. Thanks!

    • Joann October 31, 2012 at 8:20 pm #

      I am also an older mom (60’s actually) and I say: Thank the Lord you are stepping up to the plate and voting. Edmund Burke said it very well, “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing”. It is never too late to start, as long as we have that freedom; so , Emily, Go and vote : ), our wonderful country depends on it.

  43. Sandra October 31, 2012 at 12:17 pm #

    Glad you are voting. I am saddened to hear there are so many women who feel this way. There was one year many years ago I did not vote not becuase I didnt want to but because I was young and out of it and simply forgot. After my boss chastised me for not voting I felt so bad I decided I would not do that again and I would be better informed. After I moved to the Middle East a few years later I decided never to take it for granted. My vote makes a difference to me even if it doesn’t make a difference or I think it doesn’t. It is so easy now. They send it to your house and you just have to pop it in the mail.

  44. asia@ itsanorganizedchaos.com October 31, 2012 at 12:03 pm #

    I have always voted in every election. I was so excited to turn 18 so I could. This year however, I started feeling “who cares” they are all the same. I don’t know if they actually do care about us at all. Than I remember what I do for a living. I’m a military member of this country and I’m not going to vote. Than I starting thinking about when I was serving in Iraq, during their first elections. I remember the news coverage, how they went out to vote, even with threats of bombing…and here I am thinking about not voting. I think it’s because we grew up having this right that we take it for granted. I can’t imagine being a woman in this country a hundred years ago without a right to vote. I don’t like either candidate, I’m going with the lesser of two evils, but I am voting because its a privilege too many people across the world don’t have, and because too many people have died for that right.

    Enjoy you first election and vote, you will feel even more excited when you watch the news come election day. Take your kids let them see what a great nation we are so graciously aloud to live in.

  45. maggie October 31, 2012 at 11:48 am #

    Emily, I am glad that you have decided to become an informed voter. Of course it takes some time to study the issues and determine which are most important to you. I think as long as you check the facts (instead of blithely going along with whatever a politician might have to say at any given moment) you will be able to make an educated decision. It’s sad but true that there is no such thing as a completely honest politician.
    You have, through your blog, always struck me as an intelligent, well educated young woman. I’m wondering here why you think that the majority of people who do vote are more well informed than you? A lot of people just drink the kool-aid.
    I must admit that after reading some of the above comments that I am appalled at the number of educated younger women who do not vote. I am from an older generation, admittedly, but have always voted because I felt it was a privilege that should not be taken for granted. I’m sure you know that many women fought for your right to vote.
    I’m proud that you’re voting!

    (taken from Wikipedia..)
    Women’s suffrage in the United States was achieved gradually, at state and local levels, during the late 19th century and early 20th century, culminating in 1920 with the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which provided: “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.”

  46. Sarah October 31, 2012 at 11:46 am #

    Right there with ya! Never voted for those VERY same reasons… Trying to take it more seriously this time around, and act like a grown up… :)

  47. Julie October 31, 2012 at 11:38 am #

    So glad you decided to vote! I’m surprised that this is a first for you but thankful that you decided to participate. As usual, I’m encouraged by your honesty and humility and grateful for the gentle way you use your gifts to encourage others.

  48. Bonnie October 31, 2012 at 11:34 am #

    I’m shocked! Really, not enough info? Great that you decided to vote. However, I read your blog for design and decor, not confessions.

  49. Rachel @ Personality Crafts October 31, 2012 at 11:20 am #

    No judging here, I’m just glad you’re going to vote this election. Hopefully you’ll take your daughter with you so you can be her role model (often, polling places will give kids a sample ballot and a sticker, too). Enjoy the process!

  50. ryan October 31, 2012 at 11:13 am #

    I’m proud of you Emily. Your vote counts.

  51. Mary Lemon October 31, 2012 at 11:09 am #

    I can understand that you feel you are not qualified to vote and are busy with other things. I’m turning 65 this year and I’ve always voted, I guess that’s something our generation was expected to do. After seeing what happened at the last election, and where our country is now, it is probably the MOST important election of my lifetime. In fact, I know it is. I became extremely interested in policitics when GWB ran. Being a conservative Christian, I really liked what he stood for. I pray daily that my candidate wins and we can start to take our country back. Thank you for voting this year.

  52. Ali M October 31, 2012 at 11:03 am #

    I was surprised when my 37 year old sister told me last week she had never voted, but was thinking of this time. I’m glad because we have some local issues going on that are VERY important right now, and for this, our votes DO matter.

    I does make me angry that America votes for the big one and the electoral college is the one who actually gets to vote for it, especially when it alters the choice that the voters actually picked % wise.

    But, voting is awesome, and they mail ballots to our house so there’s no excuse to not do it. Which reminds me, our ballots have been sitting here waiting to be filled out, no time like the present!

  53. Nan October 31, 2012 at 11:01 am #

    Wow! I’m shocked. Not judging, just shocked. I assumed, wrongly, that intelligent women were making their voices heard. I have never missed an election. I started voting when I turned 18. I early voted yesterday. This was my 9th presidential election to vote in. I remember my first…Ronald Reagan in 1980. I stood in line over 4 hours to vote at a bowling alley in Dallas, Texas. The election was called before I even got to cast my vote, but I waited anyway. I went in the booth, pulled the curtain and pulled the lever and was so proud. I think my passion for voting started when I was young and would accompany my dad to the main street in our small town. That is where you watched the election returns. There was a big chalk board and benches and everyone would gather to watch. It was exciting. I hope you’re reading this, because I want to help you make it simple to vote. Don’t worry about any of the issues, other than abortion. That is the only one that truly matters. Vote for those who believe in the sanctity of life. That’s the only issue that you will be accountable for when you stand before God. When he asks, what did you do in my name, to save my children. You will be able to answer that you tried to stop America from killing unborn babies. Thanks for voting!

    • Hayley October 31, 2012 at 11:48 am #

      I agree!
      “Don’t worry about any of the issues, other than abortion. That is the only one that truly matters. Vote for those who believe in the sanctity of life. That’s the only issue that you will be accountable for when you stand before God. When he asks, what did you do in my name, to save my children. You will be able to answer that you tried to stop America from killing unborn babies.”

    • nicky October 31, 2012 at 2:34 pm #

      I’m sorry but I have to respond. I think God is concerned with the lives of all people not just unborn babies. He is concerned with orphans, with the poor, with the disabled, with the average person who works 9-5. He loves us all the same. And there are policies of both candidates that will differently affect the lives of all of these people. I would also just like to say that a world where there are no abortions is definitely my hope, but unfortunately a law that bans them will not stop them from happening at all. I was just listening to a NPR story about Morocco where abortion is illegal but they still happen in the thousands every month and women often die from them. Or Moroccan women are killed or commit suicide from having pregnancies that are considered unwanted. I hope one day that being pro-life comes to mean a dedication to helping women who are considering abortion, to strengthening the adoption system, to addressing the root causes of why abortions happen in the first place. Not just thinking a law making them illegal will fix it all and we can wash our hands of the issue.

      • Nan October 31, 2012 at 3:05 pm #

        Don’t be sorry to respond. It’s great to have dialogue even when we disagree. So, I have to say that we are taking care of our elderly with medicare and social security – or that was the original plan when it originated. We do take care of the orphans. There aren’t that many “orphans” in the US. But through our churches and government, we take care of orphans around the world. We send food, money, clothing everywhere. We send doctors, nurses and missionaries. I sent my own son at 19 to Romania to work for a summer at an orphanage. We do help the disabled. Our schools have come so far from when I was a child. Mentally challenged are no longer “hidden”, but go to school and can even learn a trade. We help the poor, too. We have food banks all over our area. We have Star of Hope for the homeless. We have food stamps and shelters. We have Goodwill, Salvation Army and local low cost clothing stores. Most of our churches have food pantries, too. We have organizations that retrain the homeless and the poor to be able to go back to work. But, who protects that baby that is growing in a mother’s womb? Yes, God loves us, but he expects us to take care of the widows and orphans and the unborn. We can’t leave the unborn out of the equation. Making abortion illegal won’t stop it, but it’s a step toward slowing it down. In Texas we have a new law requiring a pregnant mom to have a sonogram and see the baby and hear it’s heart beat and wait 24 hours before it’s aborted. I don’t know how many minds that might change, but it’s a step to saving a life. I lived as a teenager during a time when abortions were illegal. We had our share of teen pregnancies in our high school. We had showers for the moms and they kept their babies. If there had been an abortion clinic down the road, I can imagine a large percent of those babies would have been killed. Young women don’t have a clue of the guilt that they will carry with them when they get older and get married and begin their families. They think it’s just a mistake, a blob, not a life. But it is a life.

        • nicky October 31, 2012 at 3:24 pm #

          I completely agree with everything you said. My church has baby showers for teen moms and I know there are many more community supports than there used to be, I was a social worker before I had my daughter. I just still think we can have so much more of an impact on protecting unborn children if we focus on more than just a law. My four year old was born with disabilities and I thank God every day I don’t live decades ago when she would have been taken from me and put in an institution. But that doesn’t mean I still don’t see areas where more understanding, supports, and research is needed to help children like her live as best as they can. There has been progress in those areas I mentioned but there is still much progress left to be reached. There are still so many homeless, so many hungry children, so many kids stuck in the foster care system, etc. I’m not saying I disagree with the pro-life stance on being against abortion, I just want it to mean so much more and for it to be known for love, help, support, caring for newborns and moms, etc. Not the general opinion of angry protesters who judge and think it is such a simple issue to solve.

      • Nan October 31, 2012 at 4:26 pm #

        I agree with you, too.

  54. emily October 31, 2012 at 10:58 am #

    I can understand what you’re saying, because it’s easy to swing towards apathy – especially in the political culture we are in today.. i will confess that my voting has been more out of obligation, or knowledge of the privilege than my understanding of what it is I am voting on.. it’s hard to weed through it all, and i do try- but after awhile, it just becomes noise.. i want to become more involved in what i am voting on, instead of going through the motions.. it’s just so easy to take for granted the privilege we have in the US. – even after seeing with my own eyes what the lack of it looks like. thank you again for your honesty

  55. Jodi October 31, 2012 at 10:49 am #

    Proud of you! Here are some web sites that have been very helpful to me in gathering info and making decisions: www.isidewith.com and factcheck.org

  56. Claudia October 31, 2012 at 10:46 am #

    Glad you are voting and you shared your story.

  57. Brenda Weaver October 31, 2012 at 10:45 am #

    I have felt the same way as you! I was raised in a very conservative home where getting involved in government affairs was considered wrong. So I never bothered with politics at all. then I got married, had kids and was involved full time in their care and house keeping, etc. etc. I’ve never felt like I understood politics. Never even had a good grasp of how our country is run. Didn’t know a thing about any candidate. This year will be the second time I’ve voted and really the first time i actually cared. I am only beginning to see the importance of casting a vote and feel more and more that it’s not only a right and a privilege, but a duty. It’s a small piece of a larger picture. and we all can make a difference.
    I’m glad i’m not alone in feeling this way. Having been raised the way I was has made me feel so ignorant and ashamed so many times. But we all can take a bit of our time to get to know what the important issues are and what the candidates are all about. I’m thankful my husband has helped me so much by answering so many of my questions and helping me through it all.
    Thanks so much for sharing.

  58. KimG October 31, 2012 at 10:41 am #

    Emily, growing up I didn’t understand why it was a big deal, for the very same reasons you’ve listed….one little vote isn’t going to be missed. BUT as I’ve matured, i’ve grown to understand it more clearly — to honor my family that have fought in wars to project this precious right to vote and then becoming a mother, my awareness of being responsible for my child’s future.

    And honestly, when has it ever been difficult for a woman to have an opinion on something ;-)

  59. Jody October 31, 2012 at 10:34 am #

    Good job for voting!! As moms we gotta think about what kind of future our kids will be given!! Thanks for encouraging others to do the same!! :)

  60. Maren October 31, 2012 at 10:25 am #

    I’m so glad you have decided to take on this important responsibility! As a mother of five, I often find it difficult to balance the daily things in life much less stay politically informed, but I make the effort. Not for me, but for my kids. The things I vote on in this coming election and in future elections are things that will ultimately impact the world that I bring my children up in. I want just as much freedom and possibility for their futures as much as my parents desired for me. I make it a point to even take the kids with me when I vote because I want to set an example to them of using the freedoms that we enjoy.

  61. Trish October 31, 2012 at 10:21 am #

    I am embarassed for you . I think differently of people who can’t be bothered to exercise this hard fought for right. Its pure laziness with a lot of excuses attached. Your a citizen of a great country, do your job and educate yourself.

  62. Sherri October 31, 2012 at 10:20 am #

    I think you’re really brave Emily – both to say how you feel and to decide to vote this year. Your honesty is inspiring. Way to go!

  63. Melissa October 31, 2012 at 10:19 am #

    Umm…amazing!! I read this post and shook my head in agreeance. You nailed these things bang on…this is how I feel about voting too. But it is time to make a change and get more informed. Excellent post!!

  64. Christie October 31, 2012 at 10:14 am #

    I got pretty interested (donated a few times to “my candidate”) during the primary season, which is *the time* to vote your conscience. You can find a candidate, usually, that you more closely align with than the eventual “consensus” candidate. The good thing about getting involved during the primaries is that the “lesser” candidates help shape the debate and the direction of the eventual candidate. The primary process is a sort of check-and-balance against very powerful candidates and voting blocks. Primaries elect delegates to represent their local districts at the national convention. At least, that is the way it is designed!

    I thought you might feel more involved next time around, if you are interested earlier on.

    As for voting in the general election, I have always voted for president. I live in a state that is predictably for one party every year, so I can vote my conscience without feeling pressure to vote along party lines.

    Good post. You did a fine job.

    • Christie October 31, 2012 at 10:33 am #

      I wanted to add that I’ve been reading about generations and historical cycles, and this is the normal opinion that Gen X has about politics. (I think you are Gen X, yes?) Anyway, the common trait among Gen X is one of unaffiliated politics.

      If you’re interested, I wrote about the generations on my blog recently (just scroll down to the post “Accepting the Era.”), and you can find links.

      • Christie October 31, 2012 at 10:38 am #

        … a very young Gen X, of course … like me! ;)

  65. Holly October 31, 2012 at 10:12 am #

    Thanks for your vulnerability! Glad you have been convicted to participate in the process…it does sometimes feel like to me that my vote doesn’t really count and it isn’t worth the trouble….but we all do have a responsibility to vote and we have to take that seriously!

  66. Jenna October 31, 2012 at 10:06 am #

    Bravo!! I think of all the women in other countries who are treated so wretchedly and am so grateful that at least I have a little bit of a say. :)

    My dad who is in his late 50’s has never voted. Never even registered to vote. We’ve badgered him about it for years. I’m so proud to say that today he texted me a picture of his “I Voted Early” sticker. I had no idea!! I’m so proud of him

    And, Emily, I totally commend you for sharing this. I’m sure it couldn’t have been easy. You go, girl!

  67. Jessica October 31, 2012 at 10:05 am #

    Thank you, emily. Thank you for using your popular blog to encourage women to vote. You have helped our country today.

  68. Tori October 31, 2012 at 10:04 am #

    I am in my mid 20’s and never even registered to vote. My dad(pretty much all the men in my family;) are really into politics) espically my husband. I registered to vote this year because I decided I had to. There is no question. My dad and my husband have taken the time to explain to me why MY vote counts and why it is so important. Although, I would much rather spend my time looking on Pinterest instead of watching polotical debates! I can’t help but think about our children this time…how what happens is going to effect them so much too! I know with out a doubt who I hope wins, and I am honestly a little scared what will happen if he doesn’t. But most imporatanly I know that God is in control! So, I am right there with you, feel like it’s a little over my head, but know what has to be done!:)

  69. Lisa October 31, 2012 at 9:59 am #

    Agree with you! I am also gratified to read so many feel the same way. While I have always voted in presidential elections, I don’t do so with any conviction. I also find I am a lot more interested this election, but with a sick feeling my vote doesn’t really matter and that I am railroaded by two choices designed only to perpetuate an unhealthy “us vs. them” attitude. I saw Jessie Ventura (don’t laugh) on the ABC show The View several weeks ago promoting a book about how partisan politics has become like gang warfare. Have not read the book, but did download it to my Kindle. One of the more interesting points he made was that NOT voting only kept the system as it is – less total votes, but the outcome perhaps the same. A better vote for disillusionment would be for an independent cantidate – sending the message that you value your vote, but that the current two party way isn’t getting it done. I found it an interesting perspective.

  70. Kelly Hollstrom October 31, 2012 at 9:59 am #

    Emily, thank you for voting! I’m glad you’ve changed your thoughts on this issue:) Again, THANK YOU!

  71. Anna October 31, 2012 at 9:57 am #

    I have voted since the day I was old enough to – and I enjoy everything about politics! Well, not the drama and the lies and such – but I do enjoy learning everything I can about the elects and making as informed a decision as I can! I vote in just about every election I can {not just presidential, but local too}. Some guidelines to vote by: :)

    Who should get my vote?
    *I should vote for the most pro-life candidate, because God hates the shedding of innocent blood (Proverbs 6:17).
    *I should vote for the most pro-Israel candidate, because God blesses those who blesses Israel & curses those who don’t (Genesis 12:3).
    *I should vote for the most pro-debt reduction candidate, because the borrower is servant to the lender (Proverbs 22:7).
    *I should vote for the most pro-work candidate because God says if a man does not work, let him not eat. (2 Thessalonians 3:10)
    *I should vote for the most pro-marriage candidate, because God is for marriage as defined in Genesis 2:24.
    *I should vote for the candidate who most closely believes government’s purpose is to reward the good & punish the evil (Romans 13).
    *I should vote based as closely as I can on God’s Word (2 Timothy 3:16).

    …While knowing that whoever gets elected, God is the one who puts all men in authority (Daniel 2:21) and it is better to put confidence in God than it is to put trust in man.

    {and while I won’t tell you who to vote for – a few simple google searches should tell you which candidate most closely aligns to the above biblical mandates!}.

    • Taylor November 1, 2012 at 6:00 am #

      What a great comment to this post…I couldn’t agree more:)

    • Stephanie November 1, 2012 at 6:20 am #

      thank you for this. SO true!!!!

  72. Shauna B October 31, 2012 at 9:56 am #

    I know exactly what you mean. I have not voted in the last two presidential elections (the only that I have been eligible to vote it), once because I was away at college and once because I just didn’t know who to pick. I get so discouraged by our whole system of two parties, super pacs, negative campaigning and each party seeming determined to not let the other accomplish anything! Plus I live in a state where my vote won’t really “count”.

    But, you are right, it is important to exercise our right to vote! I also really like this site for seeing who you line up with on the issues. It is the best I have seen with more choices than yes or no.

    www.isidewith.com

    I am going to vote for the president for the first time in my life next week! Yay!

  73. Ellie October 31, 2012 at 9:54 am #

    As a 23 year old woman with a college degree and a full time job, I often share your sentiments. I feel like there isn’t anyone worth voting for anyway, they’re lying to us anyway, and since I’ve always lived in polarized states (grew up in SC, live in MA now), my vote doesn’t make a difference anyway. Like you, I also feel very uninformed. I don’t pay attention on a regular basis and I can’t really carry on an intelligent conversation about any of it.

    While I agree with much of what you said and I absolutely think that where you’re coming from makes sense and is completely valid, I find there is one thing missing…you have the ability to become informed. Even if it’s as simple as reading side by side comparisons on the candidates from one or two news outlets, you should be able to make an educated enough decision as to who to vote for. Like you said, many women before us have fought for our right to vote. I say, why don’t we educate ourselves–at least enough to vote–and thank them for giving us that right.

  74. Katy October 31, 2012 at 9:49 am #

    I’m not sure which state you live in, but depending on your state, your vote really, really, really does count some years!! If you’re voting Republican in CA or Democrat in ultra-conservative states…well..I would definately get your feeling that your vote doesn’t count;) But in many states your vote very much counts and those states really sway either way depending on many single votes like yours.

    You don’t have to be a political whiz kid to vote: just evaulate which candidate and/or political ideology YOU think is the right direction for the country – for the country as a whole.

    ( I personally don’t like it when people say “The candidate that will help ME the best” I don’t think it’s good to have such a singular mindset – I think we should vote for people who we believe will help the country as a whole, not just one specific group or another – just my 2 cents;)

  75. RoseMary King October 31, 2012 at 9:49 am #

    And to commenter Diane who found it necessary to bring this down to a political commercial; this blog was not the place to do that. Sharing our feelings on voting was all that was asked for.

  76. RoseMary King October 31, 2012 at 9:41 am #

    I am not going to judge you for not voting, however I will say I am much much much (hopefully that is enough much’s) older than you, well-educated and have never missed voting in any election. My position is very simple; it is my duty to vote. My four-mothers went to jail, protested, were maligned for the simple right of voting.
    I do understand how you feel and I am glad you have decided to vote this time. It is imperative that we teach our children the importance of voting and what an important RIGHT the constitution has given us.
    Have a wonderful day. :))

  77. Stephanie Halliday October 31, 2012 at 9:40 am #

    Thank you for sharing how you feel. You are certainly not alone in this. I have often heard “if one does not vote, one has no right to complain.” So, I am with you… it is time to take a stand for our freedom and if we want to make a difference, it will take my vote, your vote, and everyone else’s vote and together we can change the world! Well, a little at a time…right? : ) Thanks again!

  78. Heidi @ A Paige From Our Book October 31, 2012 at 9:35 am #

    Emily, your post is very close to my heart today as I pack up my family for an extended business trip we will embark on with my husband. We leave tonight and will be gone during the election. I was planning and preparing to vote, finding my polling place and making sure that I was informed, all the while I was overlooking the fact that we would be gone. I knew we had missed the window for absentee voting by mail, but it didn’t dawn on me that I could vote absentee in person in my state. It now feels impossible as I’m on a dead-line and I feel a lot of civic guilt about that. I know how important this election is in our country and in my particular state. Thank you for encouraging so many 30 something women to not let the busyness of life get in the way of voting – – – like I did.

  79. alandval October 31, 2012 at 9:35 am #

    Kind of disappointed to find such extreme things being said here in the comments but I’m happy for you that you’ll be getting out to vote!

  80. Brooke October 31, 2012 at 9:32 am #

    I was a little taken aback to hear your confession, but glad to see you come around to what is critical in this life. The right to vote is an opportunity that maybe you will never fully understand unless you go to another county and see people cast votes that really don’t count because the outcome has already been decided, Russia, Cuba. Or go to Afghanistan and see woman wait hours in line at the risk of their very life to be able to hold up a proud blue finger because they finally voted for the first time.
    I remember so clearly my first time voting. I had just turned 18 and was voting for Ross Perot. I was so disappointed that he didn’t win. I remember then watching all the debates and getting myself informed. Nowadays it is 100 times easier to inform yourself.
    I live in Utah that always goes Republican. So my vote actually does not ever count except toward the popular vote. But I vote in every election as a privilege and a duty and to show my children what is important.
    Don’t be in over your head. As a political junkie you can easily catch up in a week’s time. Read the commentary on political blogs on the internet. Follow up on the important topics of the day. This is the most critical election of our lifetime. You must be informed because either candidate represents a dramatically different path.

  81. AmandaH October 31, 2012 at 9:31 am #

    Hi Emily,
    I read your blog regularly and LOVE it, though I have never commented until now. I appreciate your honesty and am sure many others (men and women) feel the same way you do. I love politics! (Ha, ha…I should be embarrassed to admit that!) I majored in Government in politics, worked on Capitol Hill, then became a Government and Economics teacher to high school students. I now am a stay-at-home mommy to two little ones and I understand that it is so hard to stay informed and feel like it matters all that much when there are babies to be fed and diapers to be changed, etc. But let me assure you, it does matter. I guess the one thing I would love to impress on you and your readers is that not voting IS A VOTE! By not voting (whether you are voting in a presidential or other election) is a vote for the incumbent. So just know that you are voting, whether you actually physically fill out the ballot or not. I think we as women and young moms should talk more about politics…ask your friends and relatives and neighbors what they think about the candidates and issues. If you share beliefs about other things, you probably would about politics as well and maybe that would help you to make your political choices. Just remember it really does matter…don’t let others make the decisions for you…your voice and opinion matters…so let it be known by a vote, whatever it may be! And keep blogging! I love it!! :)

  82. Amanda October 31, 2012 at 9:18 am #

    So with you. I’m 33 and have only voted one other time. I’ve never been apathetic as much as I’ve believed that my vote won’t matter in my state that always lands in a certain party. This year I , like you, feel differently. Convicted STRONGLY and undeniably. I voted early 2 days ago and it was meaningful to me. It mattered TO ME…and to The Lord who gave me such strong convictions in the first place. I am SO ENCOURAGED to read this post and see that I am not alone in this.

  83. Lora October 31, 2012 at 9:17 am #

    Look, I specifically haven’t read any of the above comments cause this entire subject tends to get under my skin. I have two sons who serve the the military of this (once) great country of ours, therefore I have a very special place in my heart for what goes on with our military. I haven’t voted in the past two elections, not because I’m not informed, not because I don’t care, and not because I’m irresponsible, but simply because I’m TIRED of being lied to and “spun”! In the last general election in 08 I actually worked the polls in my area, and I was appalled to see just how many of the registered republicans (had ALWAYS BEEN REPUBLICANS!) changed party – BLATANTLY STATING – they were changing parties for the primary ONLY to keep Obama from getting the nomination! This was something that was allowed regardless of what the reasons were for their “jumping” parties. Obviously their attempt failed (PLEASE DO NOT read into this that I support Barack Obama – I DO NOT!!! I will respect him as our elected President, but I do not agree nor support him in any way.)
    Seeing this completely soured me on the entire voting process, because as soon as the primary was over those same republicans contacted their voting board and returned to the republican party. Therefore I pose this questions, How many people (of either party) do this each general election year? Also, how many people when dissatisfied with their parties nominee, “jump” party and actively campaign for the “opposition” in retaliation for what they perceive as their party’s neglect? The questions just keep piling up for me. I am near 50 yrs old and was always taught to respect the office of President regardless of which party controls it. I strive to do this to this day, however, I refuse to further the agenda of the spin doctors by adding my vote to bring them gain.

  84. Janerie October 31, 2012 at 9:15 am #

    Emily, your post was heartfelt and I will not judge. I am in my late 50’s and have voted in every presidential election since 1972. Maybe because I’m of a different generation,I see how far women have come but we still have a long way to go. My daughter is about your age and even though she feels as you do — doesn’t trust politicians, doesn’t feel smart enough to understand all the issues, etc. — I have tried to impress upon her that EVERY vote counts. In Minnesota one of our last elections for Congress was decided by 312 votes. 312! Not a lot, so you see that every vote counts. It doesn’t take much to become informed. Visit the politicions’ websites, try to read between the lines, watch maybe one debate. You don’t need to read the Economist (I certainly don’t). If you have time to read Real Simple, you have time to read up on the issues and where the politicians stand because you owe it to yourself and your children to do so. And then thank God for all those women who went before you who were strong enough to stand up and say that we count.

  85. Erin E October 31, 2012 at 9:14 am #

    I feel the SAME way. I don’t know if this will be the year I vote, due to lack of time to research now, but this was convicting. Thank you.

  86. Elizabeth October 31, 2012 at 9:12 am #

    As a woman, I think it is especially important for us to vote. I’m always shocked at the reasons people don’t vote because they always seem pretty petty. So many men and women die all over the world–not just in our own country–for the right to vote. How can we not honor these brave men and women people by taking the time to inform ourselves and vote?

  87. Diane | An Extraordinary Day October 31, 2012 at 9:11 am #

    Emily, I’m glad to see you wrestling with this. Like so many of our freedoms many take the right to vote for granted. We have the choice to exercise our freedoms or not. But, sometimes I think that by not exercising our freedoms we actually give them up. And one day, we may have none. It’s such a critical time in the history of our country. Our freedoms are disappearing so very quickly….and most of us are completely unaware. This isn’t just about us…it’s about our children and their children and…. Really when it comes to the kids….we always want to give them our best. We need to make sure that when they are old enough to vote, that they will be able to vote. That whoever is president won’t choose to exercise the martial law provision that was made by executive order (by the president) this past New Years Eve and do unbelievable things like round up all the Christians, or disabled, or whomever and repeat what happened in Germany. I can’t even believe I am writing such things….but, this is one of the very reasons why we must find the truth and be wise…God grants wisdom to those who ask for it….and vote. Our lives and our children’s lives may depend on this November’s vote. This freedom is now a heavy responsibility. Thank you for speaking your heart. I’m certain that many other woman will sense the nudge because of your honesty. Pray and vote and pray some more. Thanks!!!

    • maggie October 31, 2012 at 12:01 pm #

      Just to clarify….that martial law executive order was signed by President Bush.

      • Diane October 31, 2012 at 8:18 pm #

        Yes. However, Mr. Obama signed a new, more comprehensive version of it on 12/31/11. It’s even more scary now. I also learned that the gov’t has recently been buying guns for all the not military departments listed in the document. Do a Google search…there is some interesting info out there. I learned about it first on The Huff Post.

  88. Andrea October 31, 2012 at 9:05 am #

    OMG!!!!! Im so glad there is someone out in the universe that feels the same about politics as i do. I am in my 30’s, a college graduate, a mother, and a homeowner and getting ready to move 6hours away. I have never voted in a election and this year will be my first I find politics to be over my head, & the candidates untrustworthy. How i will make this decision, i dont know. I will be doing some researching and hope i vote for the right person.

  89. LisaB October 31, 2012 at 9:04 am #

    Congrats Emily,

    I applaud you. I think you made a wise choice to hold off on voting until you could inform yourself. Kudos for making the effort! There are lots of organizations out there that can help clarify issues if you need help. I like the League of Women voters. I also check out the voter guide for my political party, although I don’t always vote along party lines. Newspapers are also quite good and explaining various propositions and candidates. Good Luck!

  90. kristin M October 31, 2012 at 9:00 am #

    Emily I am not going to get all preachy on you. Or at least i think I won’t. I remember the thrill of going to vote in my first presidential election when i was 18. I was almost disappointed that glitter didn’t explode out of the ballot box when I slid mine in, I was that excited. I am so very grateful for the RIGHT to vote knowing that not only in our own US history but in other countries not everyone has that right. i don’t ever want to forget. I know what you mean about the difficulty of being informed about candidates but I do try to do a little research and if I am not familiar with candidates for a particular office i will leave a section blank. These are usually small local positions. I have never missed a presidential election & I hope I never will. I am glad that although you threw yourself on the sword pretty hard here that your take home message is VOTE!!!! Thank you for facing the firing squad, coming out of the non-voting booth and exercising this very important right.

    • Jennifer October 31, 2012 at 12:31 pm #

      Kristen, I couldn’t agree more. I was so so so pumped and yet it was such a let down. No bells, no whistles, no congrats, and no glitter..however, I was still so proud. Proud to have the right to vote (I love giving my opinion!). Proud to be a woman allowed to vote. Proud to be 18. But I was also proud that at 18, I was infromed (you know, enough for an 18yo) enough to cast a vote for who I believed in.
      Emily, Thanks for your honesty. It’s why I read! I hope you got the same joy on your first vote and that it keeps you voting for years to come! :)

  91. Chrystal October 31, 2012 at 8:59 am #

    I am demographically similar to you and didn’t vote until last election. Though I did it because I felt strongly about a few of the things up for vote. In the end, I think it is important because there are a lot of propositions that effect me locally. As for the Presidential vote, the electoral college has made that a joke. And I truly do not believe there will be any of the much needed change in the government until someone starts a national riot. Our politicians are in this to pad their own pockets and bank accounts. They stopped doing what was best for our country a long, long time ago. Sad, but true.

  92. Hilary October 31, 2012 at 8:58 am #

    Watch IRON JAWED ANGELS. You’ll never take the right to vote for granted again.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=StF3_Mj0tBg

    ps-Romney/Ryan
    ;-)

    • emily October 31, 2012 at 9:23 am #

      It’s on my list!

  93. Betsy October 31, 2012 at 8:55 am #

    First of all, I truly appreciate your honesty and oh how it resonates with me!
    As I scrolled through all of the comments from women who feel very much the same way, I don’t feel so left out. Though I’m only 24, I have had the opportunity to vote in the last and current election. This was the year I thought, “Buck up girl, you need to vote!” but due to address/county/city changes, and sheer laziness, I am unable to vote this round.
    My husband was a political science major and keeps up with every bit of politics. He craves the knowledge. I crave Lucky Magazine and the latest pin on pinterest. Two peas in a pod? Eh, not so much….
    Regardless, you have eased my mind on not beating myself up so much.
    I will take part in the next election, though.
    So thank you again for your honesty!

    xoxo
    bd

  94. Genny October 31, 2012 at 8:54 am #

    I am in my mid-30s and have voted every single election I have been eligible to vote in – local, state, and national elections. I would never dream of NOT voting. While I’m glad you’ve finally decided to take the time to vote, if what you write is true, then I am absolutely disgusted with other women my age. You are all TOO BUSY to vote? TOO BUSY to take the time to research candidates who will be shaping and making the laws of the country your children will be growing up in? You receive your ballot and RECYCLE it?? I can’t even fathom do such an irresponsible thing …

  95. Liz October 31, 2012 at 8:54 am #

    Emily, thank you for your honesty. Only in the last two elections have I voted. I didn’t in previous elections because I was obsorbed in my own “stuff” and not the world/country at large. My “world” has enlarged, I care about what happens around the country and in the world, especially when it comes to women, our sisters.
    As women, our voices must be heard because there is so much at stake for us, our mothers, sisters and daughters when it comes to choices about our bodies. No matter where we stand on the political or religious spectrum, I honestly don’t understand why more people aren’t outraged that these rights could be taken away from us. And why women aren’t more upset that we still make 77 cents to every mans dollar in salary. And that low (and even middle) income women won’t have anywhere to turn for basic healthcare when Planned Parenthood is defunded. When I was a single parent raising two boys for 12 years on my own, these services (and many more) were vital. I”m blessed to have a job now where I get medical coverage. I worry too that I’ll have less money available to me to borrow for my son’s college loan. Only one other time in our history as a country has the gap between the 1% and the middle income been bigger, and the gap is widening. I don’t beleive my Higher Power meant for me/us to leave those less fortunate behind/unsupported.
    So, I hope, when you vote, think of how your vote affects not just you, but your community and the country. Be safe everyone.

    • Christina October 31, 2012 at 11:09 am #

      Liz, just so you are aware, ‘basic healthcare’ provided by Planned Parenthood is a free pap smear and physical breast exam (the breast exam – all of us ought to be doing daily.) Not many would consider that basic healthcare. Contrary to what Obama and the Nat’l Spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood, not a single PP clinic in this country provides Mammograms. They simply write referrals…

      http://www.lifenews.com/2012/10/19/planned-parenthood-admits-it-does-not-do-mammograms-for-women/

      Also, abortions are not basic healthcare and since PP is the largest abortion provider in this country, and from their own website, their “total revenue from abortion services was approximately $164,154,000,” a year. Accordingly, over 51 percent of Planned Parenthood’s clinic income comes from abortion.

      Below is an easy, quick link to refer to to get the honest numbers from the CDC (Center for Disease Control) and Guttmacher Institute to see that very, very little of Planned Parenthood’s services are prenatal (.09%!!!!).

      http://www.all.org/nav/index/heading/OQ/cat/MzQ/id/NjA3OQ/

      Liz, I share this with you b/c it is obvious that you worked your tail off as a single mother. God bless you. Many of my friends have been in your position and they are among my heroes. But emotions and simple comments by individuals or media may not represent accurate information or the truth.

      Luckily, there are many organizations that operate even without funding to help single mothers/fathers, young parents, and ANYONE in need and their serves are LIFE-GIVING, not life-ending. Right To Life offices are in communities all over even very small ones (one of my young, single-mother friends own parents started our local crisis pregnancy center in our town of 1,500 people). Along with RTL offices, Crisis pregnancy offices are prevalent…in everyone of the the four towns/cities I have lived in. Nobody is left without help…even if you are not pregnant. They care to help despite the ages of your children. One cannot go to Planned Parenthood for help with food, housing, job, clothing for their baby, child, teen themselves. Planned Parenthood is in the business of making money. They are a BUSINESS. They make money by doing abortions.

      Again, I am so sorry you felt Planned Parenthood was the only place you could go for help during those difficult years. That shows what a poor job other groups are doing in advertising their services, and it also shows what a fabulous marketing job Planned Parenthood does…and lying helps.

      Again, Planned Parenthood does not provide Mammograms and the VAST majority of the “services” are not for people needing prenatal care of yearly women’s exams.

  96. Kelly October 31, 2012 at 8:51 am #

    Good for you for making the change this year!! Yes, go vote!! And also, learn what you can, so you can make an informed vote. The future of our country and our world (our children) truly is at stake.

    It is so hard to feel like we truly know what each candidate is about, and it is a challenge to find the facts with so much of the media so biased these days. I have found that if I listen to what the candidates say themselves (not what the other candidate or the media says about them), I can find the candidate that has views similar to mine.

    This year, I have prayed (and continue to!) for all the candidates, and that truths will be revealed to the nation about each one before the election.

    If you can, take your children with you to vote – let them see the process.

    God Bless America!

  97. Jill October 31, 2012 at 8:48 am #

    I know it’s hard, but good for you! Ever since watching Iron Jawed Angels, I’ve felt it’s my duty to vote if only for the sacrifices so many women made for me to have the right to.

  98. Donna October 31, 2012 at 8:47 am #

    I congratulate you on your decision. If not for you….do it for your children. Thier lives will be effected by our decisions on who becomes our next president. So many things topics and issues that our country is completely divided on. It’s kinda scary. I for one ask God to touch the hearts of our citizens, and our leaders when they make tough choices.
    Everyone MUST vote. It is an honor that many people have died so that we can have that right.
    God Bless America!

  99. Jessica @ Beautify My Life October 31, 2012 at 8:47 am #

    As a politically-interested person, it does make me cringe to hear about people who don’t vote. But good for you for deciding to do so this year!

  100. Carrie October 31, 2012 at 8:46 am #

    Emily I love your blog. I wish you lived in my neighborhood so we could be friends! I am so glad you are interested in voting this year. This is such an important time to vote…our country needs it. Our constitution is so special and sacred…inspired by God…and yet many politicians don’t value it…in fact, want to change it so much from what our Founders created.

    GOD BLESS the USA!

  101. Tanya Hulbert October 31, 2012 at 8:45 am #

    Emily,
    Thank you for your honesty. I can see it has opened up the hearts of many others who were feeling the same way and may have encouraged some to vote this election. God has given us freedoms in this country and as citizens we have the privilege and honor to cast our votes to protect those freedoms. God’s Word is my “plumb line”.

  102. Jess T. October 31, 2012 at 8:45 am #

    Unless Jesus Christ runs for office, there will never be a completely trustworthy candidate. And it’s rare to agree 100 percent with any candidate. Many times, I find myself voting for the lesser of two evils.

    I’m glad you found the confidence to vote. As Winifred Banks on “Mary Poppins” sings: “Our daughters’ daughters will adore us, and they’ll sing in grateful chorus, ‘Well done! Sister suffragette!'”

    Aaaaand, now I’ll have that song in my head all day. :)

  103. gunnymom October 31, 2012 at 8:44 am #

    You are brave, not many would confess. Our voting rights are precious. We as women and mothers and grandmothers all are overwhelmed with so many duties it is easy to put voting last on the list. I had recently moved and kept putting off re-registerting and thought I would skip voting this year, however hearing Fox news every morning made me get online and register to vote.
    I signed up for ballots by mail and that is so much easier. I can read all he materials at my leisure and make my decision. This morning, I am taking my ballot and materials out to breakfast with me. I will vote and mail my ballot today.
    God bless America.

  104. April October 31, 2012 at 8:42 am #

    I vote every election in my home state of Texas even though I know my vote doesn’t count because it’s absentee, and they aren’t opened unless the vote is close. Ironic that that is the way most military votes are handled. Sacrifice, but your vote doesn’t count. Oh well, It’s still important to me.

    • Camille October 31, 2012 at 9:26 am #

      Emily, I won’t throw rocks at you, but I will thank you for stepping up to the plate and using one of this country’s most precious rights. I come from a long line of military service family members. They sacrificed (as April’s husband is currently doing) to give every American that right and privilege.

      It can be overwhelming and although I’m a political junkie, the negative ads and comments really make me angry. Just state the facts as they see them and let me research it. This too is one of our privileges of living in this country. OK, I won’t get up on my soapbox today! ha

      Thank you for your open and honest blog post today. You’re awesome!

  105. Dannette October 31, 2012 at 8:42 am #

    I appreciate your honesty and boldness to write on such a touchy subject for so many. To be honest, I cried when I found out my absentee ballot wasn’t going to count in my very first election. I was 18, out of state at college, and spent a fortune mailing it overnight. I’m not sure why I had such a strong reaction back then, I too still don’t understand all the debate topics and political issues our country faces. However, I know my heart, and if I just vote with that I know God will take care of the rest. Happy 1st Election for you! :)

  106. Erin October 31, 2012 at 8:41 am #

    We can’t change the things we did in the past, but we can resign to do them differently in the future. Good for you for committing to vote this year!

  107. Theresa October 31, 2012 at 8:41 am #

    Yay! Glad you are doing it this year and bringing attention to this very important and vital issue. I went on a cruise recently and visited different countries. Although they were all beautiful and had very great things about each of them, they still did not compare to our great country, USA. We have so much opportunity and freedom even despite our current economic situation and other issues. We are beyond blessed and yet we take for granted what we have. I had a fabulous time on my trip, but I literally wanted to to kiss the ground once we touched on USA soil. I love this country and I’m so grateful for it! As USA citizens it is our duty and obligation to vote, so let’s do it and do it now!

  108. Julie D. October 31, 2012 at 8:37 am #

    You just wrote what I have never had the guts to say. Coming from a very politically focused family…ummm, Ryan was a political science major now lawyer (yes he would be shaking his head at me), not voting is a cardinal sin. But for all the exact reasons above, I chose not to vote. I never get the whole electoral college vote either because really, in our state, most likely my presidential vote wouldn’t matter based on my political affiliation, but anyways, thats another topic. If I had been asked about not voting before, I would have used the excuse that in our multiple moves my voters registration was not existent, thus I had no ballot. (which really isn’t an excuse–I probably could have gotten it figured out) However, that is all straightened out now and my ballot lays on the counter. I fully intend to vote next week.

  109. Charlene October 31, 2012 at 8:37 am #

    Thank you for voting and for taking the time to research and vote responsibly.

    I am twice your age. Yours will be the generation who will have no hope of gettiing out of debt and who will decide if your children will live free or live in slavery…yes, that’s a harsh word. But slavesthey will be to the debt that has so calously been placed on their futures by irresponsible politicians who have been in office much too long because people have been too lazy to vote them out.

    Not to vote, is to vote. Apathy leads to slavery. They know that. and they’ve spent generations bringing us to this point. They have taken the parents from the home and said the state can do better. They have promised mansions and given the children slums while they live in spendor.

    There is no perfect choice because we are a nation of people and people are imperfect, but there is only one choice for freedom. If we lose it now, we lose it forever.

  110. Meg Smith October 31, 2012 at 8:34 am #

    Emily – Oh, girl! That is so where I think so many of us are as mothers. With 2 under 3, an at home business and parsons wife – my plate is FULL! And it is hard to know who to vote for, since every candidate does seem insincere! Yesterday I showed up to early voting with both littles in tow, just for them to tell me they didn’t open the polls for another 40 minutes. I. wanted. to. throw. something. But I did not and smiled warmly, tucked my two BACK in the car and we went out to breakfast and came back later! Proud of you for voting for you, your family and for your convictions! May He be brought glory by your actions!

  111. Emily Sanford October 31, 2012 at 8:33 am #

    Wow, this is such a brave post. I’ve been a voter all my adult life, and am always surprised when people choose not to vote, but it doesn’t ever pay to be judgy. I think you deserve to be celebrated, instead, for doing something new, and trying to be a part of your nation’s voice. My mother always told me “I don’t care how you vote, only that you do vote” and I think it has to do with being a part of something, to have an opinion, and to take an active interest in how we are treated by our leaders. Bravo, and thank you for this wonderful post!

  112. Stephanie October 31, 2012 at 8:32 am #

    Yes I vote….mainly because I have children and I feel like our country is in a terrible place right now. Good for you for voting!!!!

  113. Heather October 31, 2012 at 8:30 am #

    Yay! I’m not the only one out there. I couldn’t have said it better myself down to reading Real Simple instead of something more newsworthy. I, as well, agree though that we need to get out and vote. We assume only the knowledgeable ones are the ones voting, but I bet there are several out there that vote regularly that are uninformed or misinformed to a far greater degree than we are. So thank you for the reminder and inspiration!

  114. Kim October 31, 2012 at 8:30 am #

    Oh my, does this hit home … I feel like my vote isn’t important because my state electoral is already pretty much decided so I think ‘what’s the point’ AND I don’t care for either candidate. However … you are so right, we must, we must, we must. I appreciate you for airing your thoughts so eloquently and with such honesty. I too get so overwhelmed with all of the issues, the ads, and the overall lack of trust, it’s just not there for either candidate which makes a rules girl like me just cringe!
    Love your blog and many thanks for this post … happy voting!

  115. Mandolyn October 31, 2012 at 8:24 am #

    I’m a political junkie and have been since I was a child, so I have a different outlook than you, but your post was refreshing—just hearing you are indeed going to vote made my morning!

  116. Kierstan October 31, 2012 at 8:24 am #

    I am new to this blog….truly enjoying until today. Now I believe I love this blog. =)

    So honest. Fresh. Beautiful.

    I am a corporate woman turning 42 today. It is so important and yes a very serious privilege. Like prayer. It’s not always the outcome that matters but that you didn’t allow the world to silence your voice. Speak. Vote.

    Grateful for your blog.

    • emily October 31, 2012 at 9:24 am #

      Thanks Kierstan!

  117. jennifer October 31, 2012 at 8:23 am #

    thank you for this post. i thought i was crazy :) i am too in my thirties and have just been turned off when election time comes. its too negative, it always upsets me. the last presidential election was the first election i had EVER voted in, and it was mostly at the persuasion of my husband.

    and here we are at election time and i still don’t know what to do, the local stuff there is some things i have opinions on — but on the presidential level — its hard when you don’t agree with any of the options. what do you do then??

    anyways — thanks for sharing this. you are NOT the only one who has not voted, i too fight guilt feelings, so hopefully after reading your post i can get the courage to vote again this election. :)

  118. Shyla October 31, 2012 at 8:18 am #

    Thank you for changing your mind. Every vote counts.
    I am a permanent resident and wish that I could vote. I felt like I was punched in the stomach when you said you didn’t vote. I am thankful that you have changed your mind. My tummy feels better now :)

    • emily October 31, 2012 at 9:25 am #

      I know – I’m so sorry that I have the right, yet don’t use it. My mind has been changed. Thanks for your perspective to help me be even more grateful.

  119. Rebecca A. October 31, 2012 at 8:16 am #

    YES! VOTE! For you, your children, your country!! We even take our boys with us to vote so they can be “in on the action”.

  120. Rebecca October 31, 2012 at 8:00 am #

    I am 29 and didn’t vote until just a couple years ago for many of the same reasons. Here we are, days away, and still find myself thinking I really should do some research but feeling like it’s all lies anyhow. Blergh. I will be voting and I am glad that I can but I don’t relish it.

  121. Jill October 31, 2012 at 7:35 am #

    Wow! I think I am too political – but I am BECAUSE I am a mother and never before in our lifetime is so much at stake – for us, for our children, for our countries future! Emily, I encourage your to not be intimidated – read, watch {lots of different things} and learn – our founders and so many fought so hard for our liberty and freedoms! Vote proudly!!!
    xo~Jill

  122. Caryn October 31, 2012 at 7:29 am #

    Great post Emily, and thank you for being so transparent, as always. This is the first presidential election for which I’ve felt so uninformed, mainly because we no longer subscribe to cable or TV, and my husband, the one who keeps up on all of the political goings-on is deployed (not to mention I have a 4 and 2 yr old and am expecting again in Jan so I’m a bit busy:). Anyway, I too was very convicted and prioritized sending in my absentee ballot this election. I’m so glad I did and I hope your post inspires others who may feel that voting is too much of a hassle or no something they need to do, to use their amazing freedom to participate I the election of our nation’s President and VOTE!

  123. Madelyn Ridgeway October 31, 2012 at 7:22 am #

    Thank you for your honesty, Emily. I love that about you!

    I voted yesterday and there was a lady behind me who had to be at least 60 years old and had was not registered to vote. I applauded her and you for getting involved.

  124. Christina October 31, 2012 at 7:15 am #

    Glad to hear you are voting. You are right, it is very confusing and they are not always honest and very often are deceiving in their platforms/information, and in who is providing the information b/c they, too, have an agenda. I recently read a statistic that said 80% of Evangelical women do NOT vote. I don’t understand this. We are not electing God…we are electing a person – the best person of the options we are given – to run our country. That person will ALWAYS be a sinful human being b/c we are always sinful, but hopefully we elect a person who guides this Republic (Our form of government is not Democratic) based on the Christian values that it was founded on. I am so proud of you for recognizing your responsibility, and please encourage your friends to do the same.

    Again, it is confusing, so go to sites that you happen to agree with their philosophy in certain areas you believe are important. I don’t know you, but I think you are pro-life, so I’d suggest you go*gle “Right to life of Washington State” and see who they support/recommend. If you support gun rights, go to the NRA website and see who they support for Washington. If you support the right of a parent to choose to home school, go*gle who home schoolers support. If you support Planned Parenthood, go to their website to see who they support.

    These organizations spend time sending questionnaires to the politicians to answer so they do all the work for us. Then print out the list you decide is worthy of your support since they will work for you. Remember, we HIRE these people to work for us and we FIRE them when they work poorly.

    God bless you and really, really encourage your friends to vote. And I love your blog!

  125. Melanie October 31, 2012 at 7:14 am #

    I am all over the map on this one. I go through phases of extreme political involvement (I mean, MY version, which is listening to talk radio! hahaha!) and then I burn out for years. Might have something to do with two more kids (we have 3 total) since the last presidential election. :) I’ve only recently gotten interested again, and I’m already sick of it! So great we’ve got mail-in ballots, too, huh? Definitely makes me more inclined. Thanks for the reminder to exercise my right and responsibility! God bless America!

  126. J October 31, 2012 at 7:10 am #

    I think it’s fantastic that you are voting this election!

  127. Katelyn October 31, 2012 at 6:49 am #

    Love you, your blog, and your honesty.

    Thank you for always being your true self….
    it’s why your blog is my no.1 daily read. As well,
    thank you for the nudge…I was considering not
    voting this year for some of the same reasons
    as yourself.

  128. Marie October 31, 2012 at 6:49 am #

    I am so glad you have decided to vote! I am 31, have two small children, wait tables, blog, craft….and all sorts of other stuff BUT I do and have always voted. I do get where u are comin from, I really do but this particular election is about women. Politics can be discustin at times ( most of the time) but if no one voted then America wouldn’t exist. It is our responsibility as women to vote because this ballot is about us and our rights to our body (crazy that we have to defend and explain our decisions about our body). So good job! Read as much as you can from both sides and be proud of your decision what ever it is.

  129. Courtney B. October 31, 2012 at 6:30 am #

    Life is about balance. And a balanced life includes participating in the democracy from which you benefit. I read your blog (and many other design blogs) and still follow the news/politics. My advice: spend 15-30 minutes following the news every day and things won’t feel so confusing or daunting on election day.

    So glad you’re voting this year! And thanks for encouraging others not to neglect their hard-fought rights!

  130. Maria M. October 31, 2012 at 6:30 am #

    Good for you, Emily!!! I’m not being judgy, but I’ve never understood the folks who say they won’t vote because the candidates don’t deserve your time (not what you said, I know). It’s not the candidates. It’s our country! If we don’t make time for it, then who will?
    My family came to the US in 1966 for my father’s work in DC. We were supposed to stay just for 2 years, but his contract was extended many times so my parents decided to apply for our green cards and eventually citizenship. The entire process took TWENTY SIX years. You better believe I voted at my first opportunity in 1998 and every time since then. It’s something to appreciate and be proud of!! Your heart will tell you what to do.

    • Earline M. October 31, 2012 at 8:50 am #

      I pledge allegiance to my country, not my President.

      I love what Maria M. said, “It’s not the candidates. It’s our country! If we don’t make time for it, then who will?”

      This is so true and never more important than it is today!

      Emily I appreciate and respect your honesty, thanks for being so open with us all.

  131. Renae October 31, 2012 at 6:27 am #

    I am so impressed by your brutal honesty about this very touchy subject. I am on the opposite end of the spectrum, no, I am somewhere in the middle now that I think about it. Because I’m not a “You should vote, how dare you not vote?!” Nope, I’d never say that. But 20 years ago I remember standing in line at a local mall registering to vote. There were TONS of people my age there. And I remember how exciting it was! Honestly. I had waited all this time to have my voice be heard and darn it if I wasn’t going to use that opportunity. I remember seeing “Rock the Vote” on MTV. I think about women who weren’t allowed to vote and Blacks who weren’t allowed to vote in THIS country. The fact that in order for women or Blacks to vote there had to be amendments to the constitution?! Ridiculous. This is America and EVERYONE should have been free to vote from the very beginning. I can appreciate that it IS overwhelming, there are too many issues to be considered and the ads and debates don’t add much to the conversation. My suggestion is to pick the three or four issues that are most important to you and see which candidate scores highest on those issues for you. It could be children’s health care (or women’s), it could be ideas on job creation, it could be social security and its future, it could be the issue of energy production. You still have almost a week. You’re a reader and a writer, you blog too about things that are important to you. You have blogged about this issue. I hope you will find that in the end one of the candidates resonates with you. If not, find someone who does and encourage them to run for office! :) Good luck!!

  132. amyks October 31, 2012 at 6:21 am #

    I promise I won’t throw rocks at you either but I absolutely vote!!!
    Sometimes it may not be the most informed vote,(regarding city elections) but I definitely take the time to vote in all our elections, I believe it is my civic duty. Although I am very sick of all the negative campaigning and ads, I watch a lot of the news channels and read my local newspaper to try and get as much information as I possibly can with regards to the Presidential and Senate elections! It is very scary how much misinformation is out there!!!

  133. Susan October 31, 2012 at 6:18 am #

    I never thought about it that way. I’m 52 and didn’t have a child until I was 40. I was entrenched in corporate America for 25 years and I am certain that formed a lot of my views. My husband thinks more like you and has jst never been interested.
    He never voted until his 30s either. Good for you!,,

  134. amelia cullern October 31, 2012 at 6:13 am #

    Great post highlighting that women should vote! It’s not just the fact that women of previous generations fought so hard for the right to vote, it’s about trying to build a better country and future for all who live there. Decisions that politicians make now affect our countries for years to come and if you didn’t vote, then you have no right to complain later. We should count ourselves lucky we live in countries (I’m in the UK) that are democratic and have elections where the people are in charge of who their leader is.

    Maybe we should combine craft/politics together?!? a game where we match policies and politicians? that way we can get the next generation involved from an early age and we can learn a bit too while having fun and being creative!?!

  135. Katie Peters October 31, 2012 at 6:03 am #

    Ok, so you are speaking the sentiments of my heart… seriously. I have never voted either. Don’t trust ’em. Don’t like all the pushiness and trying to convince me one way or the other. Just give me the facts and let me decide! :)

    This year I told myself I wasn’t going to vote unless I (1) felt informed enough to make a somewhat educated decision and (2) felt undeniably convicted to actually cast my vote.

    I did a little research, watched one of the debates, had some conversations with my husband about economics and debt and foreign policy; and while we are not experts and I’m sure there’s much we don’t know, I do feel somewhat informed and I do feel convicted to vote. And I’m honestly surprised. I seriously thought that I breeze right through this without the slightest conviction. :)

  136. mary beth October 31, 2012 at 6:02 am #

    You go girl! I have always voted, but this is the first year I may not, due to moving and not switching licenses in time. But, I totally get it. I grew up in a very political family, worked as personal assistants for candidates and saw the behind-the-scenes first-hand. It is not pretty and it gave me a very bitter taste for the system. However, the older I’ve gotten, the more I’ve been convicted that we are all flawed. Every. Single. One of us. So I vote. For the flawed people, who are just like me. So keep voting! You are absolutely right: we are privileged people.

  137. Kaitlin L. October 31, 2012 at 5:53 am #

    Also in my early 30s, and a stay-at-home Mommy. I felt very similar to the way that you describe in my very first election (I also live in a state that leans very heavily one direction politically, and I felt that it really didn’t matter if I drug myself to the polls to vote!) But, after the “hang tag” election, I realized how close the election actually could be and also how little a lot of the voters actually know – many vote one way just because someone in Hollywood said to – surely, I had more sense than that! I now vote in almost all of our local elections even – it’s not hard to find voter guides prepared by companies you trust that lay out candidates’ positions. What a privilege and a duty that so many countries don’t share – we are truly blessed!

  138. Amanda B. October 31, 2012 at 5:48 am #

    Such an honest post. I know lots of people who feel this way. My point of view is this: I’m not too interested in taxes (forms!), insurance (ripoff!), or investments (risk!), but those things are too important to just ignore. So I hunker down and learn what’s necessary to take care of business. It’s not my favorite hobby, but it’s a job that has to be done, like the laundry.

    Voting is the same way to me. I don’t delight in listening to the 24/7 pundits or all the sensationalist far-left and far-right commentators. But I do make a point to check a few varied news sources to learn the main gist of what the candidates stand for, and what they plan to do. And I do vote. My one vote feels rather insignificant (especially in a non-swing state) but I do it anyway. It’s one thing that’s too important to sit out.

  139. Holly October 31, 2012 at 5:27 am #

    Thank you for this post! I come from a politically active family, so I have always voted. But, I did not feel strongly about it until I became a military wife. I would like to add another compelling reason to vote: our military men & women who so believe in our freedoms that they are willing to sacrifice their lives so that you & I may continue to enjoy all the rights promised to us by our great country.

  140. Sarah October 31, 2012 at 5:15 am #

    I too am in my 30’s, a wife, mother, and homeowner. I’ve always been passionate about politics. I have only one vote and it’s my Privilege and honor to use it. Our pastor always says to vote for who aligns themselves with the Bible and that advice makes things much easier.

  141. Jennifer@The Chronicles of Home October 31, 2012 at 5:08 am #

    I actually have always voted despite the fact that politics makes me a little sick to my stomach. I couldn’t get through more than 5 minutes of any of the debates because I find the way they speak to each other is so infuriating. I very much get where you’re coming from – I feel more disillusioned lately than ever about politics – and think it’s great that you’re stepping out this year to check the boxes :)

  142. Lynne October 31, 2012 at 3:59 am #

    Excellent post…well spoken for your generation, Emily.
    My children ( particularly my daughter, Chrislyn), were politically aware since Kindergarten. We turned every presidential election into a civics lesson. ( Lots of red and blue construction paper in the elementary and middle school years…the year Perot entered the picture, we added white. : )
    You are correct about corruption in politics, but once in a while there is a diamond in the rough. An honest one. It gives me comfort that if I were to go to Olympia, that there is a state senator that knows my name. ( I have my daughter to thank for that.) It’s amazing how your children exhibit their passions at an early age. She has always been civic minded.

    We have the power to hire and fire!
    Your vote will make a difference. I promise.
    ~Lynne
    w/L.