By Annie Leonard, The Story of Stuff Project
On Tuesday, November 4, 2014, U.S. citizens will vote in the 2014 midterm elections. Patagonia supports candidates who will push hard for clean, renewable energy, restore clean water and air and turn away from risky, carbon-intensive fuels. We support leaders who will act on behalf of the future and the planet.
Voting is an action we can all take, the ballot a place we can all be heard.
In this installment of her Solutions Series, Annie Leonard, founder of The Story of Stuff Project, writes about the importance of voting, especially in the midterm elections where participation is disturbingly low.
“Good citizens take an interest in people and issues outside themselves. . . . They inform themselves. They volunteer. They listen. They take the long view. They vote.”
–Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick
In 1990, I visited Haiti just after the country chose its first democratically elected president. In the streets of Port-au-Prince, Haitians proudly showed me their inked thumbs, marked as they entered the polls. They were so excited at being able to vote that two weeks later they hadn’t washed off the ink.
Contrast that with the United States, where about 60 percent of those eligible vote in presidential elections. The midterm congressional elections in November draw about 40 percent. Compared to other countries such as Australia, Belgium or Chile, where 9 out of 10 voters turn out, that’s pitiful.