Blocking the Process

I had to go renew my driver’s license at the DMV this afternoon. Normally I would have just done it online, but recently when I was out the bartender didn’t believe that my driver’s license belonged to me, because he said I looked nothing like the picture. I realized that it may be true – I’m a few years older, a few pounds heavier, my hair’s gotten a lot darker, and I’m wearing glasses most days lately – so I had to go get a new photo done. It turned out pretty awesomely, by the way, despite the fact that my description in the last sentence made it look like I’ve turned into a gigantic blobby four-eyed loser since college. Which isn’t the case. Well, it mostly isn’t. Anyway.

So when I was walking into the DMV office, this young guy waylaid me and begged me to sign a petition to put a Republican candidate on the ballot for governor here in Virginia. And I refused to sign it, although I did so very nicely and he smiled and told me to have a nice day.

But then I wondered – am I interfering with the democratic process by refusing to help get a Republican candidate on the ballot? It’s not like my signature will keep a Republican from running, after all, but it’s also not like signing the petition would have constituted an implicit vote for the candidate. Can I really have a may-the-best-man-win attitude if I refuse to take an action that would help the other candidate get a fair shot?

It’s really not that big a deal, and I don’t plan to lose any sleep over it. I was just thinking about it.

Comments 3

  • My vote is: No, you are not short-circuiting anything. Your duty as a citizen ends at the voting booth, and anything beyond that is extracurricular. Sure, it’s hard to get people to sign petitions, but it should be. It’s gub’ment.

  • I rarely trust those renegade petition toters. They always describe their petition with some vague language that leads you to believe that said toter is toting the Most Important Petition in the History of Democracy. Like “Hey ma’am, would you like to sign a petition to keep the shadow government from infiltrating your girl parts with high-frequency radar waves?” And then you go ahead and sign it and find out later on the evening news that “1,000 Roanoke citizens signed a petition today encouraging local legislators to put caps on how many Oreos residents can consume in one sitting.” Bastards.

  • Absolutely not, Lorie — as far as I am concerned, a signature on a petition is a vote. I won’t sign what I won’t vote for. I don’t trust most people to make an informed decision, frankly.

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