Sitting at the Red Garter bar alone on a Friday night, a perky young blond woman sips on her watered-down drink.
I’m considering aloud which beer to order.
Would I like the light, citrusy Barrio Brewery beer on tap?
“Oh, that’s a good one,” she chimes in, which leads to more chatting.
“I don’t vote,” she tells me. “My husband knows all about that government stuff. I don’t.”
“It’s not a big deal,” I assure her. “You’re a nurse. You’ve got a brain.”
On education, she’s clearly frustrated by the size of her six-year-old son’s first-grade classroom. “Thirty-two kids in first grade is too much,” she repeats at least three times.
“See, you know how to vote. Who’s going to do something for education, for your son? Arizona ranks last in per-pupil spending behind Mississippi and Alabama,” I say.
“Really?” She seems distressed for her dishonored home state.
“Garcia, the Democratic candidate, is a former teacher,” I tell her. “This governor hasn’t done a thing for education. In fact, he mysteriously disappears funds allotted for it.”
“Oh, he was a teacher,” she says, encouragingly.
Perhaps she’ll end up voting for the first time, a professional woman in her thirties. Imagining that her husband is on the other side, that she’s afraid to speak up in opposition, I feel sorry for her.
So this is what we’re up against: nonvoters. But The Pew Research Center reports that primary voting is up, especially for Democrats.
Here’s what we can do: chat more about the importance of the 2018 midterm elections – at bars, schools, dentist offices, or waiting in line to check out at Trader Joe’s.
Will it be more effective than anonymously knocking on strangers’ doors, which I’ve done in the past? I don’t know. It’s worth a try. Let’s go surfing for a Giant Blue Tsunami on Nov. 6!