Hallow’s Eve is right around the corner. Killer clowns (‘Hiya, Georgie’), witches (yes, please), Michael Myers (classic), Chucky (I just dated myself, didn’t I?), Zombies (is that still a thing?)…whatever you want to dress up as, please also BE A VOTER!
Nothing is scarier than waking up feeling like I did Nov. 9, 2016 and learning that the nuclear codes would be given to the ‘Current Occupier of the White House’ (credit: the one, the only Angela Davis) who did not, in fact, win the popular vote. After I finished crying, I vowed to not leave a single damn thing on the table in 2020. Stopping this national nightmare ends when we all come together and vote and do not stop pushing until Every. Single. Vote. Is. Counted.
You know the famous quote from President John F. Kennedy—“Ask not what your country could do for you, but what you could do for your country.” I can tell you exactly what we all need to do. “Vote, dammit, vote,” in the words of Samuel L. Jackson. “Not because I want you to, but because he [Trump] doesn’t.”
There are a lot of convenient ways to vote safely and securely this year. How you vote is up to you— return your ballot today in the way that best works with your schedule. You can vote early at your local registrar’s office or at a satellite voting location until the Saturday before the election (Oct. 31). Secure drop boxes are another option to return your absentee ballot. If you’d rather, you can still vote in person on Election Day at your regular polling place from 6 a.m to 7 p.m. If you are in line at 7:00 p.m., you will be allowed to vote.
Vote for yourself, your community, your friends. Vote for what matters for you. Vote for the 40,000 people who die from gun-related injuries each year in the U.S., for the people locked in cages, for environmental justice, for a woman’s right to choose, or for the 6 million Americans disenfranchised because of a felony conviction. Vote because protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination shouldn’t be controversial, because systemic police violence is real, and because 20M people will lose their health insurance if the Affordable Care Act is overturned.
America is a democracy because people have fought throughout its history to make it one. There’s never been a time when our country wasn’t threatened from within by people who preferred autocracy and oppression to democracy and freedom. We’ve defeated them before. We will do it again. Together, we can end this nightmare.
Election 2020 is like the rest of this year—it is different AF. Unlike most recent presidential elections, we most likely won’t know the winner of the 2020 race on election night. The reason is simple: because dramatically more people will vote absentee in this election as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The delay in results is not a failure. It means the rigorous system of ballot validating and counting is functioning as expected to deliver a legitimate result. Our votes will count, but it will take time.
Please, vote safely and securely this year. Be a voter. The alternative is scary, but we have a say in that. Be a voter—we can change the story.