That is the sexiest logo ever. Thank you Microsoft for sexing up Rock the Vote like never before.
So, right before I left town for PAX, I went and on a whim, went and did that Rock the Vote thing on Xbox Live.
Yesterday I got an email reminder on registering to vote so I figured I'd walk you guys through the experience.
Look, I won't get into the messy-ness of politics or any of the heady bickering that goes along with it, but seriously, this has to be one of the most important elections we've had in a long time. Really.
Here we are, 8 years after Bush, with our economy in the toilet, global economy faltering, our privacy has been utterly wrought and destroyed beyond our wildest imaginations, and oil prices are going nuts all over. It goes without saying that the next person that goes into the White House is stepping into a big pile of poo much larger than anyone one person could create (thus absolving from all blame throwing squarely on Bush).
Love him or leave him, Michael Moore's last movie, Sicko, had an excellent interview with a British citizen who had a firm reminder in there that everyone living in a democratic nation needs to keep firmly in check come November 4th.
"A democratic government should never put fear into its people, it's the people who should put the fear into the government." Basically, with your power to vote, you have the ability to decide who's in control. Don't like the GOP run Executive branch? Replace 'em. Think the Democratic congress has been a waste of time? Vote 'em out.
Here's another thing to remember. The majority of registered voters that actually turn out to vote are 55+. Remember that whole mentality of your youth where you hated when old people told you what to do and boss you around? Ignoring your right to vote and letting the old people of this country decide for you is basically the same damn thing. Voting is about as rebellious as it gets without a tire iron and some un-bashed in mailboxes.
Angsty and upset at your parents after they grounded you when you were 12? VOTE AGAINST THEIR CANDIDATE to fuck with them.
Now that I've said my soapbox piece, I want to tell you all that the Xbox Live experince of "Rock The Vote" is a breeze, takes about 5 minutes, and requires you to have a printer and a stamp.
I've always hated the Rock the Vote logo, but then again, I hate the sound of beer being poured, ginger people, gravy boats, and NamelessTed, so it's all a moot point, I suppose.
Once you go through the process of opting to download Obama or McCain '08 gamerpics, you're asked if they can email you in exchange for downloading these for free. A few days after this you should get an email to your main Xbox Live account from Rock The Vote.
It will direct you here.
You'll be asked to fill in some questions. Know that voter registration requires you to be a US citizen, over age 18 on Election Day (Nov 4th), and you must be able to provide some form of ID when you show up to vote. Usually you can get by with a voter registration card if need be, so you'll get one of these in a few weeks after mailing off the final form.
You'll fill out the information they ask of you. Some personal information, political preferences (you don't have to register either side, but some states require you to affiliate yourself to participate in voter caucuses, though the initial and more important caucuses are long since past in this election cycle.)
This form is also handy if you've moved recently and need to file a change of address form with your state's voting authority, like I needed to, since I moved in April. Most states give you a specific area to where you can cast your vote, so make sure your information is totally up to date.
Once you've completed the form, you'll be asked to "print out the form", which produces a PDF for you to print out.
Like this, but all filled in already so you don't gotta do shit but print it, sign it, and mail it.
Take a piece of paper and do a double sided printout of pages 2 and 3. You can take pages two and three, fold it over, and mail it into your state's voting authority. Don't forget that it needs your signature and a stamp.
The deadline for submitting your voter registration is 30 days before the General Election, so you've got until October 5th.