Blog by Mason Johnson

Lately, I’ve had conversations with multiple people who aren’t registered. It blows my mind each time it happens. I get loud, my voice echoing above the cacophony of voices occupying whatever bar or restaurant I happen to be at, as I ask, “What?! Why?!”

Most people sheepishly apologize. They’re registered, but not at their current address; or maybe they’ve just been too lazy the past decade to find out if they’re even registered in the first place. These answers I can understand. Laziness is the driving force of much of my life. Game respects game and — since I don’t have “game” — lazy respects lazy.

RELATED: Chicagoans Age 18 To 24 Suck At Voting

Occasionally, the excuse is a bit more unnerving. The person sitting across from me will pull out some BS about politics being rigged, or claim that they’re not registered because there aren’t any good candidates. I’m not even going to entertain an argument against these asinine comments. It’s offensive to me when someone isn’t registered to vote. You’re not only choosing to leave yourself out of the democratic process, but risking the future of 2.7 million Chicagoans. That includes me. So stop it.

How To Register For the Upcoming Mayoral Election

While recent laws allow you to register on the day of state elections, that’s not the case with the upcoming Chicago election. But! You can still take advantage of grace period registration.

Chicago’s early voting is happening now, ending on Saturday, February 21st. Each of Chicago’s 55 wards has a polling place. Show up during their open hours and you can register and vote on the spot.

For those of you who feel like your vote doesn’t matter when you’re up against “The Machine,” I have a few things to point out:

1. Majority doesn’t necessarily mean victory. If a mayoral candidate doesn’t get more than half the vote, there will be a run-off election between the top two candidates.

2. Jane Byrne. Harold Washington. Byrne barely beat incumbent Mayor Bilandic, and Harold Washington beat Byrne four years later. “The Machine” doesn’t always win.

For a list of ward locations and more info on voting, go here.

To find out what ward you’re in, go here.

DO NOT go to the City of Chicago website. Most of the links I clicked gave me the OLD ward map.

Ultimately, I don’t care who you vote for (despite my mention of “The Machine”), as long as you vote.

Mason Johnson is a Web Content Producer for CBS Chicago. You can find him on Twitter.