July 7, 2016
By Ashton Willnow
“I promise I am not trying to sell you anything.” That sentence is the best way to ensure someone does not slam a door in your face or walk away, at least not immediately.
Registering voters is an interesting task. People are either all for it or they are completely against the whole idea of voting. I have tried to convince these naysayers, mostly to no avail, but I have had a few successes.
On the way back home from Blues on the Green, I clutched my 6 voter registration cards so proud of my “success.” I had only registered one person prior to this point so I was pretty proud of myself. I actually really enjoyed walking around Zilker Park and getting people registered. It definitely beat having doors shut in my face when I block walked. People were much more open to having conversations about voting and did not feel like I was intruding. There were still the people who claimed that voting was pointless in Texas and I gave them my monologue on how it really does matter. I told them my favorite line of, “You are not allowed to complain, unless you vote.” This always gets a few people because everyone loves to complain, especially about politics. This cherished line of mine was successful on a few people and I got them registered. By the time I walked out of that park, with my six voter registration cards in hand, I was feeling pretty successful and knew Travis County was one step closer to having a 90% registered voter rate.
Becoming a deputized voter registrar has made me feel a sense of power. I feel like I have the ability to go out and get people out to the polls. People always say it is pointless to vote in Texas, but if I can convince 10 people and then 20, 40, 100 people that it is not. That voting does make a difference then we will see a change in Texas. Local elections matter and people do not see that but if we start to show them how much they do, Texas can start going blue all the way up to the top of the ballot. It is small steps towards great success. These small steps start with all the voter registrars out there making a difference, one registered voter at a time.