I vote and I'm damn proud of the fact. Now, I wasn't always a voter until I first registered in my twenties. Before then, I watched politics go by with the same apathy as most of the other people in my age group.
I registered because I finally understood it was a privilege and something that needed to be earned. Plus, I couldn't complain about any law, politician, or anything else going on if I didn't vote. If I choose not to have a say in the matter, then I didn't have a right to complain about it.
When I moved to Iowa, I realized I could do absentee ballots. Since I occasionally had a problem with getting the polling place on time, plus waiting an hour in line, and listening to people ranting about the "other people", I thought doing an absentee would be a good alternative.
And it was. My political position is contrary in general, we'll leave it at that. But, I'm also interested in other parties that don't get news coverage: Libertarians, Green, Constitution, etc. In a lot of cases, there are a *lot* of other people on the ballot that I didn't know about until I started voting. Likewise, there were referendums and other issues for vote that also surprised me.
Getting the absentee ballot let me actually research the individual people and figure out where they stand. I refuse to vote along a party line. I pick people based on their stands, not their party. And research is great for that.
I can't keep track of everything going on. I wish I could, I really do, but I can't always. So, I'd rather have a chance to figure what is going on before I got to the ballot.
That said, I just mailed my absentee ballot out this morning.