Election Manners

Vote YES for Manners!

Trent Armstrong
4-minute read
Episode #50

Supporting one's candidate is honorable. My guess is that you are interested in showing that someone who can garner such support is worth a second look. But, displaying a sign or a bumper sticker that speaks ill of the opposing candidate usually is counter-productive to what you are trying to do.

Voting Vigilantes

Now, I am afraid that all this talk about the democratic process will send droves of voters from their homes and will cause some long lines at your local polling place. A good way to avoid those lines is to "Early Vote" if your area allows that.  If you're not able to vote early, just queue up with a pleasant attitude.  Standing in a line is not really all that fun, but how you approach it can help you and those around you relax. Always remember that you are taking part in a process that makes your country great.

And while you're standing there waiting to vote, it's inevitable that someone will start thinking he or she is way more important than everyone else in line. That person starts to wonder: "Why am I here behind all these slow people?" They well up with a sense of entitlement and start complaining loudly with grunts and huffs and threats to no one in particular that they will soon be writing Congressman Such-and-Such to put an end to long voting waits. We must all keep in mind that the privilege of having a voice in a free country doesn't mean we should use that voice to complain endlessly about the aforementioned long lines. In this situation, your kind attitude should have already endeared you to those around you so deflecting some of that frustration is certainly appropriate.  Don't feel like you have to do this. If you do, however; you might lightly get the attention of the Grumpy Gus and say something like, "It's a good thing we're not being forced to listen to Kenny G," or, "Oh, I'm just glad they let us vote in this country."

Don't argue with this person, and if he or she starts to get annoyed, please leave them alone. Most of the time, though, this kind of thing diffuses the situation and everyone lightens up.

Finally, I can't talk enough about what a privilege it is to vote. Should you live in a country where you are able to express your opinion through voting, please respectfully promote your candidate as you take part in the democratic process.

Thank you for listening to the Modern Manners Guy's Quick and Dirty Tips for a More Polite Life. Transcripts of this show can be found online at manners.quickanddirtytips.com. 

Keep sending your questions and comments to manners@quickanddirtytips.com. The Modern Manners Guy is part of the Quick and Dirty Tips Network, which has released its first book--Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing. Order it now anywhere books are sold.

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