STRATTON – The old Archie farmstead was once a bustling hub of activity in the town of Strafford in Southern Vermont, although in recent years the fields have gone to seed and the farmhouse looks as though it could use a new coat of paint and some roof repair. But activity has been on the rise for the Archies, as politicians, activists, and media swarm the property, trying to discern why the last two eligible non-registered voters in the state refuse to participate with everyone else on the first Tuesday in November.
Representatives from the Democratic, Republican, and Progressive parties have been hounding Pedrillo and Anna, hoping to swing their votes over to one side or the other. In an election in which every vote matters, these two final holdouts are proving to be symbolic for all parties, as they each try to make their case to the voters. But their case is not being made to these two voters, because they refuse to vote at all.
“It’s very frustrating,” said Kent Young, the Strafford town clerk. “Vermont has reached a voter registration rate of 99.996%. We’re only missing two people, and the fact that they live here in Strafford is, frankly, embarassing. I’ve been out to talk to them, but they won’t listen to reason. It’s their civic duty! But they don’t see it that way I guess.”
Although not allowing anyone into their house at this time, the Archies did agree to a short phone interview, in which they spoke about the harrassment they felt, both online and in person, and stressed that they did not care if other people voted, but did not feel pressured to do so themselves.
“How many people are registered to vote?” asked Anna during the interview. “And how many of those people are actually gonna do it? Not all of ’em, I can tell ya that right now. People register ta make ’emselves feel better, but they know they ain’t gonna go out in November and do s***. I know I ain’t. All you want is for your little number to go all the way to the top. Well you can do it without me and Pedri. We been on this farm for over forty years and we ain’t never voted yet, and we ain’t gonna start now. The world gets better and worse, don’t matter who’s in charge.”
Pedrillo Archie went on explain that he was named after San Pedrillo (Saint Peter), owing to a trip his parents took to Costa Rica before he was born, and that although he is not religious in any way, he still feels a debt to his namesake.
“I don’t know much about God, but I follow the news on ‘im and whatnot,” Pedri said. “Far as I can tell, everything’s gonna happen the way it’s gonna happen whether I vote or not. I know God hates Democrats, heard that on the news, and the Republicans are about the worst people I ever seen in my life, so I can’t see as how I’d vote for any of ’em. And Progressives are just Democrats on growth hormones, so I’m just gonna let the good Lord do his thing and trust that it’s all fer the good. I mean, whatever I pick, it’d prob’ly be wrong anyways.”
Pedri stressed that he does not beleive in God, but still wants to do right by him by not registering to vote in the upcoing election.