There are no excuses for choosing not to vote

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Voting should not be an option. Pixabay

Now is a time for action, not excuses

I still remember the excitement I felt when, a few weeks before turning 18, I realized I was going to be old enough to vote in our upcoming provincial election. I was ecstatic. Finally, I felt like my voice could be heard, albeit quietly.

I would be turning 18 overseas with other members of my graduating class, and had gone out of my way to vote early. When I told the women at the booths that day that this was my first time voting, they were thrilled. That was the first time I noticed how few people in my age demographic went out to vote.

The next time I realized this was almost a year later surrounding our city’s election when I realized that I, out of all my fellow 18-year-old friends, was the only one who’d bothered to vote. Again.

I understood, even then, that city, provincial, and federal elections are all held at different levels of importance. Frankly, it didn’t matter to me. I remember being angry – genuinely frustrated – that my friends who were so outspoken about politics didn’t bother to vote. When I asked why, the excuses were bogus. “I didn’t have time.” “I forgot.” And some, quite plainly, said they straight up “didn’t want to.”

From here, an actual argument broke out between me, upset that they didn’t vote, and them, who claimed I was being unreasonable. At the time, I backed down. I apologized. I said I was in the wrong for being upset that they didn’t utilize their chance to vote. But now, as we border the upcoming federal election, I take back my apology.

If you don’t vote, you don’t have a right to complain about politics. Period. No questions asked. If you refuse to take action to let your voice to be heard, why should I bother listening to you rant about how you hate Regina’s crappy pave jobs and think the government is funnelling too much money into “insert anything here?” The short answer is: I won’t. There are no more excuses.

Don’t have time? Good news! You’re now able to vote by mail. By visiting elections.ca, you’ll find all the forms you’ll need to fill out in order to mail in your vote for the Oct. 21 election.

Out of town that day? That sounds like fun! Thank goodness you can vote early on advanced polling days that run from Friday, Oct. 11 to Monday, Oct. 14 in various locations in the city. Bonus: they’re open for 12 hours each day: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Don’t wanna vote in a booth? Thank goodness Elections Canada offices are here! And thank goodness they’re open seven days a week too.

Are you retired? I’m jealous! The great news is that Elections Canada will even bring mobile voting stations to residents living in long-term care facilities and hospitals.

The time for excuses is over. The time for action, and voting, is now.

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