Hey, Remember How I Pester You All About Voting? Guess What! I’m Doing It Again!
Oh, hello there! It’s the last day of August — I know, it only feels like a year since August first — and after this it’s two months and three days until Election Day here in the United States. Here’s what we know about that:
* The president and the GOP would be very happy for most of us not to vote.
* The president and the GOP are going out of their way to make it difficult for many of us to vote, especially by mail.
* If the election doesn’t go their way, the president and the GOP will make every effort to say that the vote they went out of their way to make difficult is somehow tainted.
Commensurately, to mitigate the points above, the following things need to happen:
1. If you’re a fully-enfranchised adult US citizen, you must register to vote, and if you are registered, you must check the current state of your registration to make sure you have not been purged from the voter rolls. Then you must encourage every other fully enfranchised adult US citizen you know to do the same thing. Do it today; registration deadlines are coming very soon.
2. You must have a plan to vote. Personally I recommend finding out if and when early voting is available in your state, and then showing up physically to vote early. Alternately, if you vote by mail, request your ballot today (or as early as possible), fill it out the day you receive it, and either deliver it physically to your local board of elections or mail it as soon as you have filled it out. Double-check it, sign it, make sure you use sufficient postage, and if your state has it, track the status of your ballot so you know it’s been received.
If you intend to vote on Election Day itself, look today to locate your polling place, know how to get there and how you will get there. Ask for help from friends, family or neighbors if you need it. If your state requires identification, know what ID is required, and if you don’t have it, use these two months and three days to acquire it. Again, ask for help if you need it. If you can, take the day off to vote; this year of all years you might have some vacation time you haven’t used (if you can’t take the day off, then see above, about voting early). Have a plan to stay in line for as long as it takes. If you are in line, you are allowed to vote.
The president and the GOP are hoping very much that you don’t have a plan to vote. It makes their job of keeping you from voting that much easier. So, today, make your plan to vote. Vote early if you can, but however you vote, make that plan and keep to that plan.
3. If you can vote, this year you must vote. You have two months and three days to learn about the candidates — local, state and federal — and the issues on the ballots. More than enough time to get informed and make informed choices and do your part for the country. This is not a year to sit out or to pretend that it doesn’t matter who you vote for. It matters. You must vote. Everyone you know who can vote must vote. All the people you don’t know who can vote must vote.
If we are all registered to vote, all have a plan to vote, and all vote, the harder it will be for anyone to (credibly) assert the election was not legitimate. It’s simple as that.
So: Are you registered to vote? Have you checked your registration? Do you have a plan to vote? And will you vote on or by November 3, 2020?
If the answer to any of the above is “no,” you have two months and three days to fix that.
Get to it.