Jakita Allen-Loper, 25, conflicted Jacksonville resident, offers a confession:
November 2000, I was asleep in bed. I didn’t vote. I didn’t know if I was registered at school or at home and it didn’t seem like it was worth the hassle to find out. Then they said, “Wait, we’re wrong. We think Florida will go for Bush.” For three years I told people I voted for Nader. I had always told people to vote. I’m a military brat. I lived in California when they had Proposition 187. When I was in junior high, I lobbied against it. I believed in the process, but 2000 wasn’t “Vote or Die” time. I thought it was important to vote. It was like “Obey Your Thirst.” It was a soundbite. Of course you obey your thirst. Of course you have to vote.
I didn’t feel bad for not voting–who could have expected Florida 2000? But I told people “Nader” to avoid the conversation. Everywhere I went, I’d say I’m from Florida and there was that eye roll, and that head roll. It was much easier to say, “I voted, but I voted for Nader.” I wasn’t guilty then. But people got upset that I voted for Nader. When I decided on that strategy, I didn’t expect that.
I would not vote for Nader this time–not that I did last time. I think it’s awful that he’s running. Of course he has the right to run, but Nader is not going to win. That’s just all there is to it. The decision we need to make now is very clear. People voting for Nader are abstaining. I have an absentee ballot. I’m sending it in today. I’m not that worried that it’ll get lost. I’m considering just going to the polls for early voting. But since I got an absentee ballot, I don’t know if I can.