Before the coronavirus quarantine, I carried out my responsibilities as a citizen. I appeared for jury duty, filed my taxes and even filled out my census forms. The most important thing I did was vote. It is the most important thing you can do as a citizen. It should be federal holiday that you get the day off. You should be able to vote by mail. It should easy. With all that is going on, please vote. Elections do make a difference.
Election Day is November 6, 2018 but I already received my sample ballot in the mail. I like sitting at my desk and carefully researching each issue and candidate. It is better than rushing through the ballot in the voting booth.
One way to evaluate is to measure how much campaign literature you receive in the mail. If you get lots of colorful brochures, rich bad guys paid for that and you should probably vote the other way. If you see lots of the same commercials on television, those are paid for by the bad guys. If you see lots of signs on lawns, those are expensive too. A well financed campaign is backed by people who are well financed. You are not.
Another approach is to be reasonable. Will the issue or candidate help you? Will it help people you know? Will it help people you do not know? Will it help a few wealthy people or millions of ordinary people?
Do you know the candidates personally? Lots of people this year have decided to do more than vote, and become candidates themselves. I am so proud when a friend decides to run for office. Of course I vote for them. I know them. Yeah, it might be just for the local school board, but schools are important. Some student is going to grow up and become a candidate.
Voting by mail is great. Voting early is great too. I have seen voters line up around the block of their local Board of Elections. There seemed to be a lot of women this year. I wonder why.
Everyone to their stations. A lot of strange things are going to happen online over the next few days. I recommend holding course and doing your civic duty. Be the reasonable sensible person. If something seems false, you are probably right. We will find out if the future is determined by the wisdom of crowds or the madness of mobs. Vote.
When reasonable people do not become involved in the political process on a regular basis, extremists move in. When elections can be turned by lots of money, people with money move in. When there is no transparency, you cannot tell where the money or influence comes from. When extremists gain power they can make it harder to unseat them by making it harder to vote. Now reasonable people must do their duty and vote in overwhelming numbers. After the election they must rebuild a political system and interact with it not just every four years but everyday. With current technology it is possible to let our voices create a reasonable republic. The question is, what happens next?
I highly recommend voting early by mail. One of things you can vote against are candidates that make it more difficult. I did my research but in many cases the choices were clear. Some elections will be very close, so get out there and vote. I know that several of my candidates may win by only a dozen votes.
Judi Kirin-Hyman of the Hill said about this election year “It’s Machiavelli meets the internet, and in the contemporary instant gratification/advertising/spin culture, what “wins” is whatever works for the moment.” I disagree. I think people who say it is all in the spin will lose. They sought short term gain. We think long term. We will win.
Vote. Visit National Voter Registration Day. It is not too late. Questions? You can always contact them at the Election Protection Hotline with any questions about voting in your state or to report voting problems at: 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683)
This is an unusual election year. It is like finding out your drunk uncle at Thanksgiving is not only voting but is also a candidate. If you have never voted, now is a good time to start. It is important that you vote. I know you have a lot of crazy stuff in your life going on right now. If you want less crazy stuff, voting can help. It is time to get registered and vote.
In some places you can register to vote online or by mail, but I recommend the old fashioned way at a voter registration office. They are usually in the basement of a county courthouse. In most cases, you might have to show a valid photo ID like a drivers license. Find out if you can vote ahead of time at the courthouse instead of a local polling place. If not, check out where you will be voting, usually a school, library or firehouse. You might be able to vote by mail, this great because you can go online, research the issues and candidates and carefully fill out your ballot. When you are done, sign the ballot, seal the envelope and take it down to the courthouse or post office. I have seen elections be decided by one vote. That could be you.