When a past situationship told me he didn’t vote, I couldn’t ignore it. I literally COULD NOT stop thinking about it. Like a true Capricorn, I pressed on to find out why. Then he uttered the words that I’ve heard dozens of people say but never fully understood. He said he didn’t believe in voting because it “didn’t work.” Didn’t work???? This left me flabbergasted. What was I missing? How could he say such a thing? I was puzzled because the fact is that it totally does work! The proof is in the progress.
Virginia Is For Voting Rights
With a Democratic trifecta that we, the people of the Commonwealth of Virginia, elected, we’ve seen some incredible legislation go into effect:
- Minimum wage increase
- Student Loan Borrowers’ Bill of Rights
- Allowing abortion coverage in our state’s health insurance exchange
- Marijuana legalization
- Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights
- Abolishing the death penalty
- Voting Rights Act of Virginia
The list goes on, but let’s talk about that last one. Thanks to the Voting Rights Act of Virginia, voting is more accessible than ever before. The days of voter suppression and intimidation are long gone with this delicious piece of comprehensive legislation! Some highlights include stronger protections against voter threats, expanded voting materials in languages other than English, and advertising changes to local voting laws in advance to be evaluated for their impact on BIPOC communities. In a time where other states are blatantly stripping voters of their rights, Virginia is a bastion of voter protections and multiple ways to vote.
In addition to the Commonwealth’s own personal Voting Rights Act, the 2021 Virginia General Assembly passed legislation to make early voting easier than learning any TikTok dance. Want to vote early? You can do it via vote by mail, and you don’t even need a stamp (or a witness signature—at least during a state of emergency) because all ballots come with prepaid postage. Want that in-person voting experience, but not really a people person? Well, then let me introduce you to early voting on Saturdays and Sundays. Yes, it’s a thing! Check in with your local registrar’s office to see when this starts in your area. If you want to go in person but aren’t able to enter the building, curbside voting options are here for you. So if you’re eligible to vote in Virginia, we have all the ways to do the dang thing.
Voting For A Progressive Virginia
And y’all, we really need to do the dang thing. I could say we need to vote because our lives depend on it. But let me rephrase: we need to vote because our lives benefit from it. Think about all the progressive legislation I mentioned earlier. Think about how much more we can accomplish with continued progressive leadership. In case you haven’t heard, we are seeing attacks across the country on voting rights and democracy itself. We’re lucky that voting is accessible in the Commonwealth. So let’s do something with that. Let’s make Virginia even better, for all of us.
Register to vote, and make your plan for who you will be voting for this November 2 in the elections for all 100 seats of the House of Delegates and the statewide offices for governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general. Heck, you may even have a local election to cast a ballot in. Remember y’all: the only time voting doesn’t work is when we don’t do it.