Your Reminder to Exercise Your Franchise, If Applicable

Spoiler: It was me. I voted.

This was one of the “off-off years” for voting, in that there were no national or state level elections; on the ballot this year were things like township trustees and local levies. But, hey, guess what? Those things directly influence my day-to-day life; the local levies included emergency services, for example. I sure would like the fire department to show up if my house was on fire. So in its way this election day is no less important to my life than the “on-year” ones. Which is, you know, why I voted.

Was it a voting day where you are? Did you (or will you) vote?

— JS

41 Comments on “Your Reminder to Exercise Your Franchise, If Applicable”

  1. It was not a voting day in Jacksonville, Florida. Our next election will be in December for local council.

  2. Ours came early this year with a recall election here in CA, and no election today. It feels like I’m forgetting to do something, like I left the oven on. Or democracy, whatever.

  3. Thank you for the important reminder to your readers. Off year elections are important indeed…school boards, municipal seats, etc. arguably impact our daily lives more than national elections. As I have written on innumerable “Get Out the Vote” postcards: “Voting is our privilege and our duty as citizens.”

  4. Voted early in Houston, TX. My ballot had eight amendments to the Texas constitution, one Houston ISD trustee race, and one Houston CC trustee race.

    Abstainers give their vote to me. Thanks!

  5. Yep.

    School board, city council, mayor. Governor, Lt governor, Attorney General, delegates, and maybe someone else.

    Big day for Virginia. We’ll see if we have a turnout greater than 20%.

  6. Our big local issue was the City building well designed two hundred person homeless shelter complete with all the services. A local group is trying to block it by imposing a fifty bed limit and prohibiting use of pubic transport and police for security there. Effing idiots!

  7. Just finished up the Canadian federal election here, and we’re gearing up to the Ontario provincial elections in June of 2022.

    (I think Nunavut just had their territorial elections…? Am I wrong?)

    So…no voting for me today.

  8. City elections and some county sales tax issues down here in GA. I almost wish that they had merged these elections with the larger not off-year elections, as more people voting is more likely to represent the will of the public.

  9. I’m worried about the VA elections given that there’s the possibility a nicer Orange Skull-like looney tune may win the governorship.

  10. I’m also in Houston, but didn’t vote early. I voted against allowing churches to hold mass meetings during a pandemic, and for bond issues for road repair.

  11. We’re in an odd position at the moment. We sold our home in October, are living in an extended stay hotel in a different part of the state, and can’t use this address for the purposes of voting. We will be moving out of state once a few variables are settled, but we can’t vote today. It feels rather odd to not be involved in a local election today.

  12. I’m in Virginia. All statewide offices and many local ones are up today. I voted early a couple of weeks ago along with my daughter when she was home for fall break from college.

    I liked early voting because it was at a central location and though I had to wait longer than I would have if I had voted today, several candidates were there walking the line and introducing themselves.

  13. Voted! Technically I voted two weekends ago (got to love vote by mail).
    Mayor, city council, city attorney, port something something? School board (a thankless task if ever there was one), county executive, and some genuinely meaningless nonsense (thanks to a pointless law passed by our local professional legislative stick-in-the-mud).

    Apparently some of the election ads got pretty harsh (I managed to miss them), and for once there was a decision between two radically different people (usually folks are either pretty similar, or one of them is just running to advertise their roofing company), so that was interesting at least.

    Really one of the best things about vote-by-mail is that it is so much harder to just miss an election by accident, because the voter’s guide and ballot show up at your house.

  14. There was no election today in my state or municipality, so in answer to your question, no, I did not vote today.

    But thanks to all who took advantage of an opportunity today to exercise your franchise! I participate in every election that is held here, and I am grateful to those who do the same.

    There was a movement that was started several decades ago, I think in the 1980s or 1990s, in which one particular political party embraced the mantra “No office too small.” Basically, they started running candidates for any office from governor down to dog-catcher, pairing that with highly effective get-out-the-vote campaigns. And that has (unfortunately from my point of view) been a highly successful approach for them, primarily because the other major political party in this country can’t seem to organize their way out of a paper bag, let alone articulate and implement a decades-long strategy to achieve dominance.

    So voting in EVERY election, regardless of how seemingly minor or insignificant it is, is an essential responsibility for all of us. Don’t cede those elections to the “no office too small” party without a fight – join all of us in taking collective responsibility for our shared future.

    Thanks for posts like this one, Mr. Scalzi. And thank you for voting.

  15. I am in Canada but I might vote anyway. (Also it seems like one province got a new premier over the weekend, the first woman premier for Manitoba.)

  16. It would have been voting day, except a few years ago my city changed its municipal elections to even-numbered years. Figured more people would show up to vote if other things were on the ballot. Can’t say they were wrong, but I always voted. Three cheers for those of you for whom this was a voting day, and who did.

  17. I voted, for Mayor, Town Clerk, Legislative Council, and BOE. The best part of voting was that the school kids’ bake sale was back!

    My polling place wasn’t particularly busy, but two others that I passed when I was out doing errands seemed to be doing more business.

  18. Election Day in New York City. I voted early over a week ago, though. Straight Democratic, with every race mostly a forgone conclusion. There were a few ballot propositions, and I voted “no” on all of them except for the one raising the monetary limit on cases that certain courts can hear. The most egregious one is giving people “a right to clean air.”

  19. I’m currently stressing about the VA elections. Voted by mail last week, have verified that my ballot was accepted.

  20. Similar to Bill from Houston I voted early in the Austin area. Texas has 8 constitutional amendments and I also had a local school district funding initiative.

  21. Oh, yeah, right: today’s The Day. I tend to forget once I’ve dropped my ballot in the box over the weekend. Which is a luxury (but shouldn’t be), it is good to remember….

  22. Voted in local elections – three city offices (including mayor) and my alderman. No suspense involved; my city is blue, blue, blue, and the alderman was running unopposed. But I was happy to vote for the mayor who managed to keep my taxes from increasing for the first time in 20 years.

  23. No voting here, we did the recall thin a while back.

    Just watching a +10 Dem state looking likely to elect a GQP governor. The electorate truly does have the attention span of a drug-addled stoat with a TBI. TMFWWNBN would have cruised to victory last year without COVID. Not sure what I think about the prospects of a return to malicious kleptocracy in 2024-2028

  24. Our election isn’t until Nov 13, including some stuff rescheduled because of Ida.

  25. I voted today. I always vote. I don’t think I’ve ever missed one.

    We had one issue to vote on. More money for firefighters through our property taxes. I am happy to pay more taxes for this (and in general). I voted yes.

  26. All local elections here in NC today, no statewide offices which are only on even years. Still, that means a lot of mayoral, council, school board, etc. elections, which are very important indeed. I voted, as I have in every election I’ve been eligible for since I turned 18 (and that was 40 years ago, so that’s a lot of elections.) Our own local races went both the way I voted and pretty much as everyone expected (I live in the deep blue heart of NC.) Plus, the stealth Republican who was trying to grab a seat on my district’s school board was defeated. All in all, a pretty good election day in these parts.

  27. Colorado has had vote by mail for many years now, so my wife and I voted last week. Three nakedly partisan ballot initiatives, including a state constitutional amendment, (in a state that already has 166 amendments to the constitution!) Also three school board seats to decide. A few years ago a slate of, shall we say, agenda driven candidates snuck their way onto the county school board, because they knew that most people don’t pay close attention to off year elections. They immediately started trying to bust up the teacher’s union, mandated alternatives to teaching science, and changed pi to the biblical value of 3. It took a special, off-off year election to recall them. Even since we’ve had to be extra vigilant when choosing school board candidates.

  28. I not only voted, I got up at 3:15 am to be a Poll Site Manager for the first time in my avocation as a pollworker (or “Election Inspector” as New York grandly calls us!).

    I’m pleased to say that our site, a fairly quiet neighborhood on with largely local offices, had over six hundred voters and we ended up with a very overstuffed suitcase full of paper ballots by the time I had to take it to the local Board of Elections, where it promptly broke while I tried to haul it out of my car and dropped me on my middle-aged ass!

    Most of my More Leftist Than I online friends seem to feel that voting is a mug’s game because the Republicrat/Demican Oligarchy has rigged the game anyway so no real progress is possible (which to nobody’s surprise President Private Prisons and No Bankruptcy for Student Loan Debt Biden is the current poster child for!). My take is, and remains, that the reason we get a revolving door of smirking crooked corporate shills is because far too many people have convinced themselves that they’re “rebels” who are “too cool” to actually, you know, go out and vote, and demand a better class of candidate than a reality show clown, a Dixiecrat congenital liar, or a barely-closeted Religious Right Fifth Columnist who laughably pretends she’s a “Feminist” and a “Pragmatic Progressive”! Moreover, if you don’t nip those career White Collar Criminals in the bud by making sure they can’t get elected Dogcatcher let alone Mayor, Governor, Representative, Senator or President/VP, you have nobody to blame but yourself when that’s all that’s on offer….

    So, yeah – while my reasons might be a bit more “Burn the Temple Down With the Moneychangers Inside!” than Scalzi’s, he and I both absolutely agree that it’s essential that everybody who can vote should vote.

    If you don’t vote,

  29. Our little town only had one thing on the ballot today: city clerk.

    Damn straight I voted. If not for someone than certainly against. I can be petty that way ;)

  30. Yep. Waited to the last minute so I walked my ballot to a drop box this evening. In Seattle: mayor, city attorney, council members, school board, judges…. Our voting is by mail and open for several weeks, so it’s always interesting to see the races change as that last minute dump of votes rolls in.

  31. @ Not the Reddit Chris S.:

    “Just watching a +10 Dem state looking likely to elect a GQP governor.”

    Never underestimate the moral plasticity of outwardly pleasant suburban racists.

    @ Brad Guy:

    “changed pi to the biblical value of 3”

    Coming soon to a Virginia school near me, I guess.

  32. Well, obviously there WERE State-level elections, at least in Virginia and New Jersey, neither of which went well.

    In New York we had the foregone conclusion election for Mayor, plus other city officials – Borough Presidents, District Attorneys, City Council members, and judges.

    We voted by mail weeks ago. So much easier.

  33. I mailed my absentee ballot last week. My state declared that anyone could cite COVID19 as a reason for absentee voting. I mentioned that I obviously COULD vote in person, since I was here at the town hall picking up the absentee ballot, so I felt a bit guilty for taking the absentee ballot out of pure laziness, and the clerk said No no you’re totally entitled to use that absentee ballot.

    Also, most of our races were unopposed, but I had a hard choice between the candidate who actually showed up at the town transfer station while I was doing a dump run, so obviously caring about the class of people who do their own dump runs, and the one of the few woman First Selectmen in my state, who hadn’t bothered me with anything she’d done in her previous years as First Selectman.

  34. Voted here in NYC early. Most of what happened with the ballot for us was foregone, but not everything. So was pleased my guy, Chris Marte got on the City Council — that’s a very important office here.

    The election in NJ still is too close to call. One of the many reasons I woke this morning with that all too familiar sense of imminent doom I felt all through 2016 – January 6th, 2021.

  35. I did. The only item on my ballot was an option to add a tiny bit to real estate tax for roads and schools. I voted for it because I like both those things.

  36. Yup, I voted. With one or two elected positions up for grabs, literally all other races were uncontested–candidates were endorsed by Republican, Democrat, conservative & liberal. The only real reason to vote was the proposals, most of which failed (same day voter registration, among others) but this one passed! Go NY!

    Proposal 2 – Right to clean air, clean water

    Yes: 61.14%

    No: 26.31%

    With 12,178 election districts reporting out of 15,553

    This measure would amend the state constitution to add that every person has a right to clean air, clean water and a healthful environment. It’s a laudable goal endorsed by local environmental groups that few disagree with on its face, but opponents have raised concerns that the general language would lead to excessive litigation.

    The Hudson is now clean enough that things actually live in it now.
    “It’ll go away. It goes away.” “I don’t WANT it to go away.”- George and Betty Parker, Pleasantville

  37. Building on Colonel Snuggledorf’s comment above, political party member Robert Heinlein pointed out that federal politicians, including presidents, often start out at the local level. Meaning that local voting now can avoid unhappiness later.

    In Canada’s largest municipality where, as I recall, half the aldermen were real estate agents (it pays to know future zoning) one of them later became the provincial premier involved in a —gate scandal. Too bad the municipal voters had the apathy of a bedroom community. Meanwhile, the municipality has become legally a city.

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