Post Classifieds

25 Years of Being Counted

By Ryan Louis
On October 9, 2020

Photo courtesy of

I am a voter.  And I’m proud to be.  

I have voted in every election since turning 18. My first was municipal. It was an “off” year; no presidents or Congressional representatives to get me fired up. I cast that ballot in Colorado … from my dorm room in Missouri.  

I had long been ready. In the early days of the internet, getting an absentee ballot required some effort. But I was eager to participate in what my father -- an Air Force colonel -- had consistently reminded me was my duty as an American. It was a service to the country. It was what many members of our armed forces had given themselves and their lives for; it was the most basic thing I could do to foster and promote freedom.  

When I was 15, I participated in a mock program called “Kids Vote.” In my early teens, I had literally nothing together. But the program taught me something useful: At least one thing in my life could be easy. (And just like in the “real” election, poll workers gave me a cool sticker -- a simple gesture that, all these years later, I still savor). 

Then came the infamous Gore v. Bush dumpster-fire of 2000. I switched my affiliation to Missouri and voted, for the first time, in person. I stayed up all night watching the returns. It would be months before the system sorted itself.  

On a crisp November morning in 2004, I remember walking down the stoop of my building and setting off through busy New York streets to cast my ballot in Bush v. Kerry.

New York was a great place to be in my twenties; and working for MTV Networks was a dream. Like my Dad, the company believed voting was a simple yet powerful way to participate in Democracy. Like speech, peaceful assembly and the press, voting was an extension of my first-amendment rights to proclaim, to protest, to voice. I got to see (and minimally participate in) the incredible work my colleagues did at Rock the Vote. 

I moved to Kansas in 2008, voting here in each presidential election since: Obama v. McCain; Obama v. Romney; Trump v. Clinton. 

In every primary, every special election, I vote. Whether in April or November, I vote.  And although I might now be a skosh more put together than I was at 15, it took me a while to find a political party. I’ve voted for Independents, Greens, Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians and members of Natural Law (does anyone remember them?!).  

The feeling I get every time is a serious high. I mean it. I walk out of the polling place a little lightheaded, just a bit dazed and profoundly happy. I treat myself to a coffee afterwards, usually. It’s cold in November, so I let the steam flood my face; the heat of the cup warms my hands.

And I look down at them -- my hands. Despite the action being the simplest form of civic participation, I can see power resting in them. My hands, my vote: I count. 

And I wish that for you as well, to be counted.  

Join me and register. I’ll be sitting in front of the Hetrick Bistro on Tuesday, Oct. 13 (the last day to register in Kansas); it’s quick -- takes only five minutes -- it’s easy. Or register online at (if you live in another state and need an absentee ballot, start here:

Make sure you have a plan for how to exercise this right: your right to vote.


Get Top Stories Delivered Weekly

More oucampus News Articles

Recent oucampus News Articles

Discuss This Article



Our Omaha LASIK surgeons are proud to offer the latest technology and most experienced surgeons for the patients our omaha LASIK patients. The Omaha Eye & Laser Institute is the first center in Omaha, Nebraska to offer you the most advanced form of LASIK laser vision correction.

Log In

or Create an account

Employers & Housing Providers

Employers can list job opportunities for students

Post a Job

Housing Providers can list available housing

Post Housing

Log In

Forgot your password?

Your new password has been sent to your email!

Logout Successful!

Please Select Your College/University:

You just missed it! This listing has been filled.

Post your own housing listing on Uloop and have students reach out to you!

Upload An Image

Please select an image to upload
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format
Provide URL where image can be downloaded
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format