Letter to the editor: Every vote counts… literally

 

Dear editor,

I met Miro Weinberger — a Democratic candidate in the Burlington mayoral race — at a Meet and Greet in his home about two weeks ago. Being arguably the most politically apathetic person in the United States, it was no surprise that when my good friend, an intern for his campaign, asked me to go, I used every excuse I could think of to avoid attending.

As he made his proposal, I was astonished. For some reason, I was engaged with what he was saying. I was agreeing. Most importantly, I understood the words coming out of his mouth. For the majority of my life, I felt like political speeches were such manipulative and calculated veils that I stopped bothering to listen at all.

But Miro’s words were a refreshing change; I could hear the sincerity in his voice, and he was addressing issues that I personally affected me as a UVM student. I could relate to this man.

It was in that moment I realized not all politics are bad, and that there are good people out there that rely on students like myself to help them make a difference. I decided that night to attend the Democratic caucus two weeks later and vote for him.

I play for the UVM Women’s Club Lacrosse team, and we had a game at the same time. My first instinct was to skip the game, because I had already mentally committed myself to the caucus.

Unfortunately, my guilt grew over the weekend, and I couldn’t bear to skip my last game of the fall season. I received updates about the caucus all afternoon, but it wasn’t until around dinner that I received some final news.

I was checking Facebook, and noticed something about Miro’s campaign. I clicked it and read, “Recount is in of 1,085 votes; both Tim [Ashe] and Miro earned 540 votes! Even tie!!! Amazing. Next vote is TBD within one month.”

I couldn’t believe that I, who only two weeks prior considered myself politically handicapped, could have been the person to decide the outcome of this election. I felt both powerful and at fault; I know in theory that every vote counts, but I have never witnessed how true that can be.

So, bottom line: you’re welcome. Use my ironic blunder to better your life. Don’t skip voting to go to a girl’s lacrosse game —even I agree that it’s not a particularly exhilarating sport in any way — because you might just be that one out of 1,086 that makes all the difference.

Sincerely,

Laura Ganem

Class of 2013