I really, truly, hope you go out and vote tomorrow. Even if you and I don't necessarily agree on everything political, our country really only works when everyone participates (see Seth Godin's brilliant blog post from today on that.)
But please understand that voting is the brushing your teeth of the political system. It's the bare minimum of participation. In fact, in twenty-three countries worldwide (including Australia), it's compulsory. By contrast, our national turn-out in 2008 was 62%.
The people I really respect right now are the ones making things happen. The ones on the phone banks, door-knocking, delivering food to the volunteers, doing midnight lit drops. They're the ones that are really making their "votes count."
And even more so, the ones that work between elections. The ones that work in their community, in the schools, in politics, in the arts — in any way they can to make the world a better place. They sit on boards, they teach their kids to donate at holiday drives, they keep up community gardens, they participate in community planning sessions, they escort field trips, they effect legislation, they fundraise, they fix up houses, they make things happen.
I understand that we all have busy lives, and families and work and and and...
No one can do everything all at once. But if you're not pushing yourself, even if only every now and then, to make the world a better place, then the only one who's making your vote "not count" is you.