Since arriving in the US, I have been taxed without representation. For the first few years I didn’t really see not having the vote as a problem—I didn’t immediately engage with local politics and I do see sense in not instantly giving new arrivals a vote for President—but the taxation part felt pretty absurd when my student funding was coming from the government in the first place. I joked about holding a Cleveland Tea Party with a single teabag and Lake Erie, and never got around to actually doing it.
Once Seattle started to feel like home, my frustration with this started to rise. I’ve lived here almost 9 years, expect to stay and am highly engaged with local politics, but still don’t get to vote for my own Mayor or City Council. Meanwhile a US citizen who moved from Miami just in time for the voter registration deadline can. This has never made sense to me, and while the margin was larger than one vote it especially hurt to have to watch on the sidelines as a Mayor I felt great affection for was voted out last year.
Now we’re a month away from a ballot measure, the failure of which would sabotage bus service in the region. I am entitled to apply for citizenship, and I need to get on with that, but there’s no way it would be processed in time for this ballot. I resent my disenfranchisement.