Your voting record is public information. Not who you voted for, that’s a secret, but whether or not you voted is public. Political parties, candidates, non-profits, journalists, and even private citizens can request the information. After November 3rd, whether you voted or not will be written in ink.

So what? At a macro level voting is an illogical action. Most economists see it as abnormal behavior. In theory, whether you vote or not shouldn’t matter.

But this isn’t theory.

When we vote we do so as individuals within a community. Voting, especially down-ballot, has high stakes for us locally. It is one of the simplest things we can do to show up for our community. While your vote might not swing the national election, it could swing a local one.

This means your voting record says a lot about you. Individuals with a perfect voting record are those, regardless of political affiliation, who have consistently supported their community. And it doesn’t take much to do that, especially with an all-mail ballot. To vote, you only need to place your ballot in the mailbox and flip up the flag. That is it. When it is this easy to vote, not voting speaks volumes about you.

In ten years, when you look back, and when others look back as well, what do you want this election to say about you?

If you still need to register to vote go to today.

John Rhoades

MontPIRG Field Organizer