I suck at voting. Yet, I do it. So I decided to make some unauthorized educational PSAs about voting, for other people who suck like me.

I have a low tolerance for political shenanigans. I avoid network television and radio like disfiguring STDs. I rarely believe anything I see in advertising and I don’t have the stomach to watch candidates behave like idiots (even idiots who I hope will win). I don’t like being talked down to. I know that what politicians tell you doesn’t actually mean anything. The phoniness disgusts me. I know the candidates are just pushing the buttons of whatever audience they are targeting on a given day. It makes me feel like they really don’t care about special, special, ME. (Yet, their desperation makes me realize how important every vote is to them.)

Also, I don’t find voting enjoyable. I don’t enjoy doing things I don’t feel confident about, and it’s hard to find reliable, quick-read information to help me decide who to vote for. I don’t like that feeling of uncertainty, staring at a ballot full of candidates I know nothing about. Still — I do vote — because if I don’t, some loony who not only listens to, but believes what the politicians say, will do it for me.

Here’s the thing, though: As icky as I find politics, I’m aware that I don’t have to love the candidates and I don’t have to know everything to vote. 

It’s not a test. Even though you do have to color in little bubbles, it’s not like school, where somebody’s gonna grade you if you leave some of the bubbles blank. You can do a shitty job, and nobody cares. You can just vote on the candidates that you feel you know something about and leave the ones you’re clueless about blank, if you want.

Better yet, it’s okay (at least in terms of preparedness) to cheat! If you get an absentee ballot, voting is totally open-book. When you vote in the comfort of your own home, you can go to websites and look stuff up. You can search for news stories about the candidates and see if they’ve said anything that really chaps your butt. You can pore over your ballot for as long as you like. You can even call your friends for their opinions, or ask your granny who she supports, if you value her input. (And the state provides useful voter information handbooks online, by mail and at the polls.)

And again, nobody gives a damn if you decide you don’t want to vote on this or that thing that you’re not sure about. They’ll even give you a whole new ballot if you mess up and need to start over. The main thing is just to vote. Because if reasonable, smart-ish people don’t vote, there are plenty of unreasonable, not-so-smart people out there who are perfectly happy to make the decisions.

So here’s what I have to tell my non-voting readers, if there are any:
It’s okay to suck at voting! Just get your butt down to the county election office and do it!

Not registered? No big deal. Do it now. In Montana, (as of this Oct. 2016 re-posting) you can late register anytime after Oct. 8 at your county election office, all the way through Election Day — and even on the day of the election (although that is a bit inconsiderate to the nice people who do the registering, and you might have a long wait on Election Day, so it’s better to do it sooner.) You have to provide some I.D. and stuff, so read the info at the Montana Secretary of State’s website for details.

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Everything you need to know about voting in Montana. http://sos.mt.gov/elections/Vote/index.asp

Anyhoo, these are my unauthorized educational PSA cartoons about voting in Montana. I tried to concentrate on the fears that might deter new voters from voting, and explain that it’s not really so hard. If you see misinformation that I need to correct, or you have an idea that you’d like to suggest as caption for another cartoon, drop me a comment!

If you share these images, it’s helpful it you include a link to Montana voter info at http://sos.mt.gov/elections/Vote/index.asp

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