OK, everyone, here’s the deal. There’s an election coming up in four months—and it’s a pretty big one! On November 8, for starters, we’re choosing a new president, and there are plenty of House and Senate seats up for grabs too, and don’t forget all the state and local races and ballot issues…
But you know all that, right? Which is why you’re all probably registered to vote. Of course you are!
Wait, you’re NOT? For real? Mind if we ask why? It’s not like registering is all that hard to do. Hmm. Well, check out this list and see how your excuse stacks up against some of the lamest excuses we’ve heard. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and then we hope you’ll run out the door and register to vote.
Item number 1
"Netflix is holding me hostage.”
We love to binge watch as much as anybody (matching a flavor to the show is almost as much fun as watching! Chocolate Therapy for the Sopranos? Half Baked for Breaking Bad?), but are you really going to park yourself in front of a screen for four months straight? Lame. You can at least spare a moment between seasons two and three…
Item number 2
"I’m too busy eating Ben & Jerry’s.”
Well, flattery will get you everywhere. Nothing wrong with this excuse at all. Just make sure you’re buying a lot of Empower Mint, since the proceeds go to benefit the North Carolina NAACP and fight voter-suppression laws.
Item number 3
"I’m passed out in my hammock and I can’t get up.”
“Can’t”? Or…”don’t want to”? True, there’s nothing like lying in a hammock on a summer day, a cooling breeze fluttering the pages of the magazine or book on your chest as you dream away the afternoon… What were we talking about again? Oh, yeah: voting. No matter how great your hammock is, and it does sound pretty great, democracy is worth just a little effort, right?
Item number 4
"Dude, it’s summer and I have to establish my base tan.”
We totally understand that you gotta get outside when the warm weather calls. But research has determined that a base tan offers almost no protection against UV rays. So, sorry sunlovers, get your butt off the beach and down to your local election office to fill out your voting paperwork.
Item number 5
"But I don’t like filling out forms.”
Nobody does. But come on, they’re not asking you to write a book report or compose a sonnet with a quill pen. Sure, it’s annoying, but just print your address, sign your name, and then maybe reward yourself with a little Empower Mint (see above). Don’t think of it as bribery: we prefer the word “motivation.”
Item number 6
"I’m on vacation. This is a politics-free zone.”
Vacation is a sacred time, no doubt. You’ve got your fanny pack, your drinking hat, and your flip-flops—and you aren’t interested in DC shenanigans. But voting isn’t about politics or politicians: it’s about participating in democracy and making sure your voice is heard. When you get back home, do what you need to do so that you’ll be able to speak up on Election Day.
Item number 7
"I can never get to my local election office during work hours.”
This is legit, and a source of real frustration for many. We only have so much time during the day and many of us can’t get out of work to run errands, even important ones like registering to vote. If that’s the case, then hopefully you live in one of the 31 states that allow online registration. Why isn’t this convenient option available in ALL states?
Item number 8
"I don’t think I have the right ID to register to vote.”
In recent years, especially since the gutting of the VRA, many states have been passing absurdly restrictive voter ID laws. Find out what you need to register to vote in your state as soon as you can, so that there’s still time to get everything in place by Election Day.
Item number 9
"I’m only 17. I can’t even vote yet!”
Not so fast! In some states, if you’re going to be 18 by Election Day, you CAN register to vote ahead of time. This chart breaks down age requirements state by state.
Item number 10
"I’ll be overseas in November. There’s no point in registering.”
Wrong. If you’re serving in the military overseas or will be abroad for any reason on Election Day, you can still vote. The process is a little more complicated, but it basically comes down to requesting, then filling out, and then sending in an absentee ballot. Your vote still counts!
Item number 11
"But, seriously, this hammock is so comfortable.”
We talked about this already…
Bureaucracy is always annoying, and it’d be great if this country, like many others, automatically registered everyone to vote, if only because it would save us all the hassle of doing it ourselves.
But the good news is that the big day isn’t for another four months: there’s still plenty of time to get yourself registered.
It really isn’t too complicated, when it comes right down to it. Put it this way: If you’re able to head down to your local Scoop Shop for a cone, or to your grocery store for a pint, then you can register to vote. And having your say on Election Day, to us anyway, tastes even sweeter than a spoonful of ice cream.