Today’s the day if you haven’t already submitted your ballot. If you are not sure if you are registered to vote, check here: https://www.vote.org/am-i-registered-to-vote/. Many states allow election day registration. Check here for Same Day Registration information: https://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/same-day-registration.aspx.
I spoke with a young friend yesterday who told me he almost didn’t vote (he did) because he felt like so much was so shady and that it didn’t matter. You would have been proud of me. I didn’t go crazy because he did in fact vote. We discussed how every single vote counts, just as every single person does. How you need to vote whether it is a hopeful vote or a “fuck you.” How we can be hopeful and take the high road, even as we steel ourselves for a battering disappointment. (That, my friends, is the story of the OCCK investigation in one sentence.)
He went on to tell me that he has been working on really awesome business plans, that he is moving soon to another state and is going to get involved and run for office. It was great news (except for the moving part). Now he really has to be careful to vote because I remember a city-wide election where one of the candidates was young, bright, exuberant, and well-connected. She had not voted in the past five years and when questioned about it, didn’t have any great answers. She lost.
One more voting story. My mother grew up in a very small, very rural town in Canada. Her dad made her come home from university to vote in a local election because their friend was running for office. You know what the ending is–the man won by one vote.
Voting is an essential activity. If you have been going to the doctor or the grocery store, you can vote. Put on a mask and stay away from the mask-less. If you need help returning an absentee or mail ballot, or need help getting to the polls, ask a neighbor or a friend for help. If need be, you can mask up, roll down all the car windows and hit the polling place.
You don’t even have to fill out the entire ballot if you just want to go in and get the hell out as quickly as possible. If you haven’t read a ballot initiative ahead of time and don’t understand it (they never make it easy), skip it. Get the job done and get out.
No endorsements here. Just vote. I will delete any comments from those who cannot resist starting a fight. Keep those comments on your Facebook page or on a Zoom call with your family. If a neighbor who has opposing views to your own needed help voting, would you help? Life is lived locally. Every man for himself is not sustainable.
To bring this back full-circle to the purpose for my blog, the people you elect locally are the people who make decisions about investigating and prosecuting crimes, about transparency in those decisions and honest communications with the public. Once they have betrayed the public’s trust, they can never, ever be trusted again. They must not be given another chance. They will betray again and again. And then they will retire and live off of those taxpayer dollars you all provided.
So don’t blow this one off. Don’t ever blow off another election. If you move, make sure you register to vote at your new location. Do not give up your voice. Maybe some day soon, most employers will give their employees the day off to vote, it will be safe to congregate again, and election day can become both a solemn duty and a celebration.
Voting in person today gives you a little hero status. Go for it.