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SYFY WIRE Bad Astronomy

Hank Green Tells You How to Register to Vote

By Phil Plait

My friend (and former boss) Hank Green has done something amazing: He and his team (Nicole Sweeney, Nick Jenkins, Taylor Behnke Peters, and Derek Knabenbauer; Nicole and Nick worked on my Crash Course Astronomy series) have created a series of videos—50 of them!—giving U.S. citizens information on how to vote in their individual state.

Watch the introductory video to see why they made them:

It may not surprise you to know I agree with Hank fully here; a lot of people are talking about withholding their vote this election as a “protest” vote, but that logic doesn’t hold water. Doing that means your voice simply isn’t heard. It’s not a protest vote. It’s literally doing nothing.

Also, in this election there will be “down-ballot” consequences; people tend to vote straight party tickets. I make no bones about saying for whom I’m voting; Donald Trump is a hate-filled racist with no real stands on any issue except to support whatever is of immediate expediency to his ego. He also denies all manners of science. Hillary Clinton is far more supportive of womens’ issues, LGBTQ rights, minority issues, and she has publicly declared her support of science.

I’ll note that two other candidates are running, too; a free-market libertarian named Gary Johnson, and Green Party candidate Jill Stein. Johnson has some interesting stands but falls flat on his face when he says that the government should do nothing to mitigate global warming. He literally wants to let the market decide … the market that is run (and paid for) by the fossil fuel industry. So yeah, I’ll take a hard pass there. Stein denies quite a bit of science, parroting anti-vax rhetoric and saying other silly things.

I don’t think Johnson or Stein stand a chance, but they can siphon votes from the other candidates. And as I said, down-ballot voting will be critical in this election. A lot of truly awful people are running (or rerunning) for House and Senate seats, and we’ve seen stunningly inhumane behavior from many sitting in state governments. These people must be kept out of power.

So go find Hank's video for your state, watch it, and register! Every vote matters. Yours, mine, even (and maybe especially) that weird relative who says vaguely or overtly racist things at family gatherings.

Disagree with them? Then go make your vote count.

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