1. Voting is a humanist value
Humanism recognizes that moral values are founded on the basis of observation and experience alone. That means you are responsible for participating in and creating the world that you wish for yourself and your neighbors. You can do this by going out to vote for the candidates and values you believe in.
2. We are fortunate to live in a democracy
Yes, we have election problems -Russian interference, faulty balloting, and insidious methods of voter suppression. Yet we still have elections, and it’s still an American value that one person equals one vote. Despite our issues, elections here are still followed by smooth transitions of power devoid of violence. Bear in mind that this is hardly a given throughout the world or even historically in our country. There was even a time in the U.S. when only wealthy landowners could vote. Your ancestors fought to change this. Honor them by casting a ballot this Tuesday.
3. YOUR VOTE MATTERS, even if your candidate or issue doesn’t win
If you are a progressive voter in Mississippi, it may feel like your vote doesn’t matter. That’s still not a good reason to stay at home! Your vote is counted, just like all the others. And yes, you can make a difference just by showing up! Many elections have been decided by a mere handful of votes. So yes, your vote is crucial!
And if your candidate doesn’t go on to win? Well, your support may have been crucial in advancing a particular idea or ideology. Who would have thought single-payer healthcare & free college would have been mainstream ideas only ten years ago?
4. You can do it from the closet
Being a humanist in Mississippi isn’t easy. Many of us are reluctant to be vocal about our beliefs – even among family and friends. We often avoid political conversations at work for fear of reprisals. Well-here’s some good news: Your vote is your business. Here is the opportunity to make your voice heard from the privacy of the ballot box.
5. We have the numbers to be a powerful minority
Sometimes it feels isolating to be a humanist. But you are not alone. Religiously unaffiliated Americans are the largest and fastest growing demographic in the country. In fact, 24% of all registered voters are nonreligious. Among non-believers, there is overwhelming support for such issues such as legal access to abortion (74% in favor), same sex marriage (81% in favor), and preventing pharmacists from refusing to refill prescriptions solely on the basis on religious grounds.
It’s estimated that 108 million registered voters chose to sit out the 2016 presidential election. That’s mind boggling. Imagine just how different the political landscape would be had they all voted? https://secular.org/grassroots/svv/
6. Your evangelical neighbors are voting
According to the New York Times, evangelical Christians in the U.S. have lost ground in terms of population, dropping from 23% in 2004 to only 15% in 2018. This means there are now fewer of them than us, despite what you have been led to believe. Unlike us, they reliably vote in large numbers, currently making up 26% of the electorate. White Christians historically turn out to vote at higher rates than both non-whites and non-Christians. This is intentional as churches actively encourage congregants to vote their values. There is absolutely no reason why we can’t do this too. We can also be intentional. And it starts with you.
Ok, you convinced me! What do I do now?
Become an informed voter. You can find a 2019 Mississippi Voters Guide at https://mississippitoday.org/2019/07/07/voter-guide-2019/ or http://www.lwv-ms.org/ To see a copy of your ballot, visit https://ballotpedia.org/Mississippi_elections,_2019 To find your polling location, go to http://www.sos.ms.gov/pollingplace/pages/default.aspx
Share your story. Once you vote on Tuesday, post an “I’m a Humanist and I Voted” Selfie here and, if you are comfortable, on your own social media accounts.
*The Mississippi Humanist Association is a 501( c)(3) organization and does not endorse political candidates.