Don’t Thank Me For Voting

voted

As I walked out of the polling place this morning, a man checked my name off a little list and said, “Thank you for voting.”  It was as if I was a veteran who laid her life on the line in service to her country and he, a representative of a grateful nation. Or a child who put her toys away like a good girl, so Daddy said thank you to encourage such behavior.

I was indignant.

I wanted to say, “Who are you to thank me? I am not doing this to satisfy anyone else’s expectations, and it’s none of your business whether I vote or not. I am doing it for myself. This is my chance to make my will known.  You have no right to look benevolently on me, and pat me on the head for participating. We are peers in this process; one man – one vote.”

We should thank our founding fathers that the country was built on that premise. That after a rocky start, it now actually MEANS that each and every citizen, man and woman, is afforded the same right.

Americans should not be encouraged to vote. That implies that the voter is doing a favor for a faceless, nebulous “someone.” Maybe if we had to risk life and limb to be heard, as is still the case in many parts of the world, we would more deeply cherish a right won at a high cost in blood, treasure and tears.

It’s a hokey old saying that still holds true: voting is a privilege. Those who don’t appreciate that fact should stay home.

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About pegoleg

R-A-M-B-L-I-N-G-S, Ram...Blin!
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53 Responses to Don’t Thank Me For Voting

  1. Thank you for writing a blog post Peg 🙂

    Like

  2. Voted early – to avoid mob and in order to find a parking spot.(It can’t be over soon enough – these nasty political ads)
    This is a great post. The sad thing is that it reflects the attitude of those of use who are getting older. The poorly taught history and civic classes in public schools do not seem to be getting the message across to the younger groups. The whole idea of Cosmopolitan mag “party buses” with male stripper/dancers picking up college students and hauling them to the poll is disgusting.
    I found the WP/Pew voting”banner” a tad annoying for the same reasons you mentioned
    (But we also vote early because you get homemade cookies then.)

    Liked by 3 people

    • pegoleg says:

      You made up that party-bus thing, right? Right? ‘Cuz if it really happened then it’s time to give up. Although I bet the organizers got confused and thought they were going to a “poling” place, not “polling” place.

      They don’t give cookies at my place – that’s the kind of thanks I could get behind!

      Like

  3. JImbo says:

    Heh… “poling place.”
    I suppose there’s a rule against having your polling booth in a strip joint? 😉

    I disagree though. If you vote, you are doing your civic duty and SHOULD be thanked.
    It’s not a parade or anything. It’s just a simple “thank you” and that can’t be said enough in these times of rudeness and vulgarity.
    We need to encourage more civic participation in our culture.

    Like

  4. Al says:

    When I voted early this morning, no one thanked me. When I voted again after lunch, they did.

    Liked by 5 people

  5. Carrie Rubin says:

    My voting place is a nursing home. Several elderly people usually thank me for voting on the way out, but they’re so cute, it doesn’t bother me at all. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Hear, hear! I’ll be dropping off my mail-in ballot after picking up Li’l D. I wonder if anyone will thank me. I hope not. 🙂

    Like

  7. mjoydub says:

    I like to thank the volunteers working at the polling place for helping to make the in-person voting process simple and efficient.

    Like

  8. franhunne4u says:

    when you sit at the polling station and wait for the voters to pour in – and only a handful shows up at all, you as an official thank those that come – as them showing up gives sense to what you are doing that day. We do that, too, here in Germany. It is not so much as seeing your voting as a service or a duty but we thank you for showing up and relieving our waiting time … Voting rates go down here in Europe …

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      That’s a good way to look at it. I don’t object to people saying thank you – they are being very polite and friendly, which is always good. What I object to is the thought that we should NEED to be grateful to people for doing what others can only dream of being able to do.

      Like

  9. Mike says:

    Bravo. Say it loud!

    Like

  10. I listened to an interview on NPR yesterday which troubled me. Evidently only 25% of those summoned to jury duty actually appear in court. Reasons vary. But for sure, it is no longer perceived as a vital part of doing one’s bit as a citizen, just like voting is taken for granted. A sad turn of events.

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      What a coincidence. I tutor English as a second language and just today I was trying to explain our election system, juries and the idea of right vs responsibility to a Chinese woman and a Japanese woman.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. lexiemom says:

    Peg, Don’t be so sensitive, he (or she) was just being polite. Considering the low percentage of eligible voters in the country who actually exercise that right, it’s a joy to those of us who understand the importance of voting to see others doing their civic duty. So, thank you for taking the time out of your day to participate in this most important responsibility, especially when so many don’t even bother.

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      I know; you’re right. I was TRYing to convey the idea that none of us owes thanks to anyone else for doing what is in their own best interest to do. Maybe that “thank you” really serves as an acknowledgement that we’re in this thing together.

      Liked by 2 people

  12. Beth says:

    I went soon after the polls opened along with all the local teachers:0)). Walked down to Town Hall through the dry leaves to vote, then on to the town square for a coffee and chocolate chip scone before a small-town stroll in blissful silence. None of the poll workers thanked me, but they WERE a little annoying for being so awake and pleasant at that time of day!

    Vote early, vote often!

    Like

  13. Elyse says:

    people have the right to vote — and they should exercise it. They should think about the candidates and the values they represent. It is really important, and fundamental to us as a nation. I’m frustrated by people who don’t vote, who don’t bother. I am equally if not more frustrated at folks who vote against their own self interest because they are too foolish to realize that votes should come from what you hope for, not what you fear.

    But everybody has the right to vote. And they need to exercise it.

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      I’m angered by those who don’t think about the issues and DO vote. I’m frustrated by those who think about the issues, but come to entirely different conclusions than I do. The answers seem pretty clear to me, and I have to keep reminding myself that there are many ways to look at the same problems.

      Like

      • Elyse says:

        But voting is a right. Like free speech and freedom of religion. Just because we don’t like what people say or how they worship doesn’t give us leave to take it away.

        So I am frustrated on both sides. I agree that people should know their candidates and the issue and they should vote. But because they don’t doesn’t mean they should be culled from the polls in my opinion.

        Like

        • pegoleg says:

          Oh, no. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want to take away anyone’s right to vote. It’s just so frustrating when people have absolutely no idea what is at stake and they blindly pull a lever. I don’t want to ENCOURAGE the clueless to vote – I want to encourage them to get a clue!

          Liked by 1 person

          • Elyse says:

            That makes sense, I guess I was reading you wrong — sorry.

            I found it astonishing that in several states where raising the minimum wage was on the ballot that folks voted FOR that and also voted FOR politicians who are dead set against it. PAY ATTENTION FOLKS!!!

            Liked by 1 person

  14. Bravo. I completely agree with you. I’m also so tired of those people that post the “I voted” posts on Facebook. Keep it to yourself please – it’s not all about you.

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      I go back and forth on letting my light shine in public with displays of charity, religious belief, being civic minded, etc. I don’t like to brag. On the other hand, maybe I can set a good example and motivate somebody else to “do the right thing.” Always a dilemma.

      Like

  15. I was asked if I was sure I had completed both sides of the ballot. Ah….yes. I know how to continue reading and turn the ballot over, thank you. You are right that we shouldn’t have to be thanked. It just shows how many people don’t exercise their right and privilege that when you do vote it’s an anomaly.

    Like

  16. No one thanked me for voting, they were too busy helping the elderly people who either couldn’t read the ballot or figure out how to fill it out. Informed citizens…hmmm.

    Like

  17. Here in Canada, I have never gotten a sticker, a cookie or a “thank you”, for voting. Canadians have this reputation for being so polite and it turns out we are just plain rude when it comes to voting.

    Like

  18. Shannon says:

    Yep. Privilege, not a right. Sometimes, it’s my privilege to vote for NO ONE on an entire ballot. This time, I voted for only losers. But I felt privileged to do it! No one thanked me for it either; they just smiled and told me to enjoy the rest of my day.

    Like

  19. List of X says:

    Since, apparently, only 36% of registered voters actually voted this year, I think everyone who did deserved a Thank you.

    Like

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