Friday, November 3, 2006

Why Voting in Arlington Matters

I've always been amazed at how many people my age live in Arlington, work in Arlington, pay taxes in Arlington, spend their money in Arlington ... but when it comes to voting, say they're still registered to vote back home, because they're "from Ohio" (or whereever).

Even worse, usually when I ask them if they're voting in Arlington on Tuesday, they say, "Crap, I forgot to get my absentee ballot!"

They don't know who's running back home, or what the big issues are, but somehow they think they're still supposed to vote not where they live, but where they grew up. Do you still sleep in the bed you grew up sleeping in? Still go to the pizza place you hung out at with your high school friends? No. So why do you think you're supposed to vote there?

The Arlington County Board regularly makes decisions that directly affect you, from big decisions like property taxes (and even if you don't pay those directly, they're reflected in your rent) to relatively minor decisions like whether Dr. Dremo's will remain in its current location.

And it's not like people are voting in overwhelming numbers anyway. In the last presidential election, only 58.3 percent of citizens of voting age cast ballots. In 2002—the last mid-term election—only 48 percent voted. The percentages for people under 40 are even lower.

So register to vote in Arlington now! You can print out the form online. You won't be able to vote Tuesday, but you'll be all set for next November.

Oh, and why can't you register and vote on the same day? Good question.

Other notes ...

* Check out this interview with the producer of An Inconvenient Truth.

* ACE's website updated with three November events and a December cleanup.

* Capitals Iceplex to open soon in Ballston.

* Hope to see you at the next Community Role Models event, the AFAC Food Drive on Saturday November 11th!
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