A former Washington City Paper reporter says he never registered to vote in the District while living here, because his vote doesn’t count. This is an all-too-common attitude among many residents. But your vote does count in D.C., in a great many important ways.
Matt Bevilacqua, who now writes for Next American City in Philadelphia, wrote today that it took him two whole afternoons and $65.47 to register to vote in Pennsylvania, thanks to the state’s new voter ID law.
Impeding voters from reaching the polls is a travesty of democracy, regardless of which side it favors. So is D.C.’s lack of federal voting representation, a case District officials are pressing at the DNC this week. Still, Congress is not the only game in town that affects people’s lives. Nobly squeezing in a mention of D.C.’s second-class status, Bevilacqua also makes a surprising revelation:
I never bothered to register to vote [in DC], since the District doesn’t have voting representation at the federal level. ... So for the interim I sent absentee ballots back home, even though they couldn’t have meant much in true-blue New York. At least I could help keep my Congresswoman in office.
Wait. What about local elections? Is it more important to cast a vote for a congresswoman far away than to vote for a mayor, council members, and others? Even when the congressional vote “couldn’t have meant much”? Even for a reporter at a local paper which mostly covers local issues?
[Continue reading David Alpert’s post at Greater Greater Washington.]
David Alpert is founder and editor of Greater Greater Washington. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.