I have been a registered voter since the week I turned 18 years old. Admittedly, at 18, I was fairly clueless about the people for whom I’d be voting, but I educated myself on each of them the best I could and embraced the privilege like no other. This opportunity, for me, was far more paramount than any other milestone that came with turning 18. But then again, I wasn’t a smoker or an avid purchaser of porn, so maybe I had no choice.

I do not regard myself as one who is overtly obsessed with politics. You will not find me on a street corner handing out pamphlets or walking Union Square decked out in a sandwich board that roots for my preferred candidate. Although I am very staunch in my liberal beliefs and will take these thoughts to Twitter and Facebook – where the majority of my friends, if not all of them, share my political ideas – I’m still rather mum on the subject unless pushed. Push me, and I’ll gladly tell you my thoughts on why I voted for Obama weeks ago (absentee New Hampshire ballot, because they need every liberal vote they can get), and why I think Romney is bad for women, the environment, equality and pretty much everything else. I’d be more than happy to share this with you, but since, for some, politics falls under the same awning as religion and money, I won’t. Besides, there’s no sense in getting into a heated debate just so we can throw around the word “malarkey,” and walk away knowing, in our hearts of hearts, we are completely and positively right in our views.

However, my lack of public display on the matter, doesn’t hinder my devotion. Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to politics; we all must be aware and knowledgeable of those in power who are making the decisions.

When George W. Bush ran for the first time I was in college. This was also my first presidential election in which I was old enough to vote. That election I went the way of Ralph Nader. I do not regret my choice, although many would later call it a “wasted” vote, but it was also at that time that I realized I could never date someone who didn’t vote. Even if they voted for a candidate of whom I disapproved, it was far better than not giving a fuck. Perhaps our political stances did not align and would not make for a great long-term relationship, but conviction, in my humble opinion, outweighs difference of opinion.

My boyfriend at that time didn’t vote, and because of it, I resented him. This also solidified how I’d view future relationships when it came to politics.

As this election day is just a heartbeat away, I’m certain, more than ever, that I could not date someone who is either too lazy or apathetic to educate themselves on the candidates, and doesn’t get their ass to the polls to cast their voice.

As a liberal woman who is extremely protective of her reproductive rights, the human rights of my LBGT friends to get married and be treated as equal, and one who is well aware that the Cold War is over (unlike Mr. Romney), it is imperative to me to date someone who votes. Actually, it’s more than imperative; it’s in the ballpark of an absolute necessity.

Relationships, the best ones, are based on so many components and one of those is mutual respect. I can’t respect a person who doesn’t vote. No one could possibly give me a single reason or a warped justification as to why voting isn’t important. To not embrace a liberty that so many in this world are denied because of oppressive governments is, in my mind, an utter tragedy. I don’t care how pretty your eyes are, how great your jeans fit you or how phenomenal your taste in music is, if you don’t vote, I’m not giving you the time of day.

This post originally appeared on The Frisky. Republished with permission.

  • AM

    o_O!

  • Downsouth Transplant

    I have come to learn, never to put my burden on others, their burden should also not be a requirement for me to carry. If i have to vote & i am able to vote, i vote no issues, but i do not hold my boo’s feet on fire that he has to vote or I walk.

    PS. the dude might have been a felon in the state & not able to vote or never registered or not even clear what he needs to do to be able to vote. Sometimes we need to just crack the door of reason & understanding, then help him get to the polls ASAP.

  • Pseudonym

    I agree with this. Even though some argue that voting doesn’t matter, it’s all about the electoral college, and have a valid argument, I find that the men I’ve met who don’t vote often follow the same “do nothing” attitude in other parts of their lives.

  • Independent

    Tell the truth. You have a problem with anyone who not only doesn’t vote but doesn’t vote Democrat. While I will vote for Obama because I think it’s important from a historical perspective I don’t sport this all things everything liberal and Democrat. Everything liberal ain’t god and everything conservative ain’t bad.

    Blacks refuse to accept the fact that there is a CORRELATION between education, unemployment and Democratically run cities without any legitimate challenge by the center and the right and their current academic and economic circumstances. There are cities that have been run by Democrats, black Democrats, for the last 60 years; From the school board and police department to the mayors office that are in horrible academic and economic condition with absolutely no realistic hope of change in those schools and economics for blacks.

  • http://gravatar.com/lovegiraffes onegirl

    Fantastic article! I never thought about this (all of my ex boyfriends voted), but it is interesting to think about. I never imagined hanging with someone who didn’t exercise their voting rights. I’d have to keep it moving as well if they didn’t do so. Good for you!

  • gryph

    interesting spin on the phrase “sexual politics”; what an extortion racket

  • Pseudonym

    What are the Republican-run cities with great education and high employment rates? All around the world, the city with the worst education and employment rates in most countries is the capital; I think it has more to do with overpopulation than Democratic/Republican/Socialist/Monarchist leadership.

  • paul

    Oh please

    quit this vote “peer pressuring”. Obama’s gonna win.

    But wow, it’s “I won’t date ya if you don’t vote”, now.

    The world gets bizarrer and bizarrer.

    Anyone who says something as whacko as that shouldn’t writing magazine pieces, they should hiding from the men in whites coats.

    smh

  • Independent

    Huh? The cities and best schools, in most states, on average are almost always conservative or moderate and Republican. If I only had two choices, I’d take my chances and rather my kid live and grow up in a wealthy/middle class Republican city and school district than go to school and live in a Detroit, Newark, Baltimore, Memphis, New Orleans, Flint ect, ect, ect. You can have the liberal (everything goes) black ghettos.

  • Ms. Information

    It is a man’s right to vote or not to vote…..this is not a reflection of who he is…this is stupid.

  • http://gravatar.com/lovegiraffes onegirl

    It seems that in the author’s opinion, not voting is a reflection of who he is, and she’s not interested in dating anyone that won’t vote. She is entitled to her opinion and you may think otherwise, as you are also entitled. Not sure what is stupid; the article, the author, the idea that she won’t date a non-voter. *shrug*

  • Ms. Information

    No, not calling the author stupid…just the idea that someone voting or not knocks them out of the dating pool…and yes she is entitled to her opinion completely – I am also entitled to comment on it…

  • C11

    Voting is the easiest way to participate in the democratic process. Register, stand in line, pick your positions. Why would I want to build a life with someone so unconcerned with the world around them or the history behind them? Too many people fought and died so I could vote. So yeah, if you don’t vote you will never ever date me. I also don’t date felons, the perpetually unemployed, people who hate their parents or drug users. None of these things make someone a bad person but we clearly don’t have the same basic values that would make a relationship feasible.

  • Jaslene

    She said he didn’t care.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mshenry70 Kathy Henry

    What about the schools in the Bible Belt? Republican, Conservative and poor as hell.

  • http://www.ellemkwordpress.com Lorri

    This is quite the deal breaker.I think as long as you vote, you get a chance. I do have a problem with people who don’t vote but it is their right to choose.

  • BoutDatLove

    I don’t believe in voting and presidents are selected… they are already chosen, they are not elected…. Furthermore, if someone is good to me & loves me, I wouldn’t cut him off because he decided not to go to a dang on booth & make check marks or dark bubbles or whatever you do on ballots.

  • Nikster

    i think the assumption that you don’t care when you don’t vote is inaccurate. Abstaining from voting is also a sign of protest towards the system. Elected officials do it all the time in the legislatures. If you are not pleased with the policies or pleased with the system by not voting you may be expressing your displeasure and you can be just as informed about politics when doing it. One may also not decide to vote because from a rational perspective it doesn’t make sense to vote. The likelihood that your one vote is going to sway an national election result is very small. Assessing the cost of voting (time and resources) to the actual benefit of your vote (minimal chance of being the deciding vote) one may care about politics but assess that their vote really doesn’t have much of an influence based on the number. I don’t think that everyone that is not voting is following one or both of these options but I do think the assessment that not voting always means that someone “doesn’t give a f**k.” I always vote but I think it is important to understand an individual’s reasons for not voting because it could be based on any number of factors.

  • Monie

    The writer’s logic is flawed because she automatically assumes that just because an individual votes, they care….and just because an individual doesn’t vote, they don’t care.

    I have witnessed some of the most destructive people in our community (drug dealers, dead beat dads/moms, hoodrats etc) voting and urging others to vote as a sign that “they care” when they ultimately PROVE they don’t care by there destructive behavior.

    I have also know non-voters who actually go out in the trenches to show they care by ACTIVELY initiating change either through programs or their own created initiatives. They CARE…they just don’t see the candidates who are in the running as viable representations of their “Voice.” They do way more building than individuals who passively push a ballot button every four years and want credit for changing the world.

    I respect voters and non-voters alike…as long as the have LOGICALLY and REASONABLY come to the conclusion as to why or why not.

    I would rather a man who actively seeks to change this country who doesn’t vote….rather than a man who passively pushes a button and does nothing else to contribute to society.

  • paul

    Every word a cliche.

    Erm people didn’t fight for the right to vote,

    they fought for the right to have a say in

    HOW the country is governed.

    A subtle point of difference, but one that goes to the heart of why someone might not want to vote.

    But please don’t think I’m trying to change your mind about not dating people who don’t vote. That’s not what troubles me about people like you . . .

    It’s that people like you are allowed to vote, which is kinda one of reasons I think voting overrated,

    They let any fool vote.

    Can’t remember who said it but it goes something like this -

    if voting made any difference they wouldn’t let you do it.

  • paul

    Well said

    Nice to see the faculty of common sense displayed on this site.

  • http://valsotherblog.wordpress.com Val

    Sometimes a non-vote is the most powerful vote of all.

  • Shar

    Might be a felon? Well, that presents a different issue of dating now doesn’t it?

  • Independent

    @Kathy

    I didn’t say ALL. I said “in most states, on average”

    The obvious question I have to your comment is…… are the black schools in those states doing better? I’ve seen articles on black schools in New Orleans & Memphis. The dropout rates and academic proficiency is horrendous. I’m talking Third World numbers.

  • Pseudonym

    You still haven’t named any of these wealthy/middle class Republican cities with populations comparable to the cities you implied as being Democrat-run.

  • Pseudonym

    I understand where the author is coming from with this article.

    While I do understand the *theory* of not voting as a sign of protest, in *actual life practice*, the people I know who claim to be “protesting” by not voting once every 2-4 years do do absolutely NOTHING during the remaining 1458-9 days between elections to change the social or political landscapes where they live. When your only act of protest is to be absent on election day, I don’t find that to be passion for a cause. Instead, it just looks more like general apathy or acceptance of a system you consider to be completely corrupt rather than any sort of legitimate protest (which everyone has a right to do, I think it’s more that this is a personality trait the author may not find attractive, as I don’t.).

    It’s different when an elected official doesn’t vote b/c their single vote makes up enough of a fraction that many times their absence will easily gain attention b/c their vote could end up being key for the 2/3 vote requirement needed for passing- it’s strategic. Many people who don’t vote on election day don’t seem to have any real strategy or idea of how their not voting is a productive way of achieving an outcome.

    At worst not voting can be not giving a F*. Without any other proactive actions to change things, at best it’s being defeatist/apathetic and some women don’t find apathy attractive.

  • http://gravatar.com/ravsmith78 Ravi

    notice how you stuck that qualifier in there — wealthy. Could the correlation you speak of be with poverty and the quality of schools as opposed to the political party in charge. Every city with a significant percentage of poor people will has the same problems you named. It has nothing to do with the party in charge. When Republicans are in charge, the disparities between the have’s and have-not’s increase.

  • http://gravatar.com/ravsmith78 Ravi

    this reminds me of an episode of South Park where Diddy was going to kill stan for not voting.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douche_and_Turd

  • C

    I don’t think I’d rule out a person based on that one factor, as long as his other qualities lined up with what I was looking for. It would definitely be a minus, but it wouldn’t be a deal breaker for me. Then again, I’ve never had the non-voting issue come up in my relationships. All of my past boyfriends were voters, and my husband is really into politics (so we were THE first two people at our polling center this morning), so I have never looked at the issue from any other viewpoint.

    Everyone has something they can or can’t put up with in the world of dating, and they have that right.

  • Independent

    @pseudonym

    I don’t understand your question. Can you re-writer it.

  • True

    what if because of previous mistakes, you CAN’T? then what?

  • Pseudonym

    What are the mistakes? I, personally, am not interested in dating anyone who has been to jail for any other reason than the fact that he was legitimately working to revolutionize his country. Prison is…I feel that any word I use to describe it will be an understatement, so I’m not even going to bother trying. The psychological effects it has on a man are a bit much for me and I’d rather not subject myself to it since there are plenty of non-ex-prisoners out here to choose from.

    BUT, if you are dating an ex-prisoner, 2 Chainz can show him the steps to follow in order to vote.

  • Pseudonym

    “I would rather a man who actively seeks to change this country who doesn’t vote….rather than a man who passively pushes a button and does nothing else to contribute to society.”

    Luckily those aren’t our only two options. The author can also date a man who actively seeks to change his country who also votes.

  • Monie

    You are correct. She definitely has the right to do so. I bid her God Speed…

  • Dave

    As a black man who does not vote (anymore) I find it funny that a good 3/4 of everyone telling me to vote cannot name three things Obama has done for the environment, economic justice, or civil liberties in clear, name-me-a-policy and give me the details terms and yet as a political science majoring, public policy reading, protest attending, activist engaging, comparative theory debating, community action supporting, highly informed citizen and environmentalist I am the one who is considered inactive and uninformed. I am personally more impressed with educated abstention than ignorant participation. And can the author please explain to me how she can be so admittedly passive about political participation (outside of voting, of course) and yet be “very staunch in my liberal beliefs”? How about very staunch in you liberal ACTION? I’m glad I’m not in her dating pool, facebook “activism” annoys me.

  • D.T.

    Exactly, I don’t vote anymore as well.

  • Downsouth Transplant

    why doesn’t he care, might be all the options on the ballot are not worth voting for, i can see how that can be a reality to some.

  • Downsouth Transplant

    yes ma’am it sure does for me may not for others:)

  • http://gravatar.com/jamesfrmphilly jamesfrmphilly

    can you name me three things that you have done?

  • http://gravatar.com/jamesfrmphilly jamesfrmphilly

    name me the time….

  • http://gravatar.com/jamesfrmphilly jamesfrmphilly

    sounds like a white to me….

  • http://gravatar.com/jamesfrmphilly jamesfrmphilly

    “if voting made any difference they wouldn’t let you do it”

    they have tried to suppress black vote in every republican state…

  • Dave

    With pleasure:

    (1) Inform my fellow young black peers on proper response to a cop stop…and supported the corresponding workshops. (Not to mention educating my friends and family on the Community Safety Act which I’m sure you never heard of.)

    (2) Support my local sustainable initiatives (Sustainable South Bronx, Sustainable Flatbush) and raise awareness of their initiatives in my community.

    (3) Marshalled marches on US Chamber of Commerce (Powershift 2008) in support of green policy initiatives and through midtown in support of local unions.

    (4) Actually knocked on doors and talked with people in the community…which is why voting no longer impresses me. The things some of you say I swear….

    Now then, your turn.

  • Monie

    Please research the history of Cuba, Haiti, and South Africa where the peopled got together and decided NOT to vote which delegitimized their government and created leverage for the people to create the change THEY wanted.

  • http://thinkaboutit-knowaboutit.com/ Dante M.

    I hate to beat a dead horse, but I must also state that the author’s equating not voting with not giving a fuck is flawed logic. I would love for her to explain to us why she votes, and I would love it if her answer did not include some regurgitated reply about “civic duty” and dead people who died “so that I can vote.”

    Many people vote because they actually feel like they are making a change. Many people vote because they have had it embedded into their minds that not voting is the sign of the antichrist. They do it because everyone else does.

    I get the unfortunate feeling that this author belongs to the latter group.

    Not to assume she doesn’t know about politics, but her “not giving a fuck” line was complete bull.

  • Do better

    You can try to protest the system all you want; however, decisions directly affecting YOUR life will still be made. While individual candidates for office may not be your ideal choice, there is always a greater evil. To abstain from preventing unfavorable conditions for yourself seems idiotic in my opinion. But I guess if you’re already nihilistic it doesn’t matter anyways does it? I do know that people that don’t vote cannot say ish when it comes to conditions in this country since they’re too lazy to do anything to help.

    Sidenote: It plays directly into what the white dominant power structure wants when already disenfranchised minorities neglect to vote. They get to keep passing legislation which will widen the gap even more between the haves and the have nots. Such myopic and selfish thinking to believe that sitting by silently and watching things deteriorate is an act of protest.

  • Courtney**

    I’ve been away from the site for several days due to school/work but even though this article is a few days old, I do want to remind anyone reading that voting isn’t just about who sits in the Oval Office. It’s also about who works with or against the President in Congress. It’s also about who accepts or refuses federal monies for your state/city/town/local municipality for whatever reasons. It’s also about the local judges presiding over your trial, the trial of a friend or loved one, or god forbid the trial of someone who has harmed you or a loved one. It’s about the local coroner, treasurer, state initiatives and levies to fund or defund local schools and social support programs, taxes for services we all need to use.

    I think we do voting a disservice by only hyping it at this level every four years, or even two years. Voting is but one step of participating in a democratic society, sure – but in addition to being one of the easiest ways to participate, it also is one of the ways we most visibly and immediately affect the lives of ourselves and those around us at the local/state level. It’s not just the president, or even the senators and representatives. I wish more of an effort was made to make people realize the other ways – in many cases, the other more important life-changing ways – that voting affects us. I understand the opinions of some that voting doesn’t matter because all politicians are the same (UNDERSTAND, but whole-heartedly reject – as if there’s no difference between Todd Aiken and Debbie Washerman-Schultz sitting on committees and proposing legislation) – but there’s other things besides “president” that we fill in on those ballots.

Latest Stories

Cheers! 30 Not-As-Obvious Occasions That Call For Champagne

by

Maker of Infamous ‘Sizzurp’ Takes it Off the Market

by

How To Rock: Black Women In Orange Lipstick

by

Newsflash: Most People Aren’t Down With the ‘Swirl’

by
More in dating, election 2012
Please Vote
How They Plan to Steal the Election … and What You Can Do About It

Election 2012
Things You Need To Know Before You Vote

Close