Why I'm Voting: Heather

The Huffington Post recently ran a piece entitled Why 27 Influential Women Are Voting This November (And Why You Should Too). The post, and its accompanying hashtag campaign, come in reaction to a Fox News host's suggestion that young women stay away from the polls and "stick to Tinder and Match.com." Here's my own take on #WhyImVoting. -- HCW

This year, for the very first time, I put an election sign in my yard.

For me, voting has sort of come full circle. When I was on college, I was on fire for a candidate. I  belonged to my school's party-affiliate club, I campaigned, and I met the candidate. My friends and I were all political science, pre-law types. We were going to rule the Commonwealth and possibly the nation. Then, along the way, I got disenchanted. As I've said before, I started to feel really distant from the process. I railed against partisanship. I made excuses. I stayed informed, and I usually voted (well, in the big elections, anyway...), but it became much more of an academic exercise than a personal interest.

This year, I got a pretty significant reminder that I have absolutely no excuse to not get involved. This year, I know a lot of the candidates, both personally and professionally. Obviously, this comes from the fact that my fiancé and I spent our twenties working in big law firms, and from the fact that we've both lived in Kentucky for most of our lives. As people announced their candidacy for this year's elections, we started to see more and more friends and acquaintances among the ranks. A partner from Bob's old office, and an associate from mine. One of my former clients. Our classmates. My sorority sister. My college roommate's then-boyfriend, now-husband. A friend with whom I sit on a charity board.  Family friends. These folks hope to become our next judges and Congresspeople. There's even a candidate for Coroner up in the mix.

Now, this doesn't mean that I'm solely voting for old friends. Some are running for local offices in other corners of the state. Others may not do the best job. It does mean that I'm a lot more interested in the process because I know these people well. I've been to their houses. I've engaged with them over dinner, drinks, or in-depth conversation. I know them, and I no longer have the excuse that I'm not part of the process.

I vote because I know these candidates. I quite literally have NO EXCUSE not to vote.