I voted. I did early voting, although I would have preferred to have voted by mail. However, my state’s Republican dominated legislature did everything they could to prevent that. The state only offered mail-in voting after they lost a lawsuit, and then only for relatively narrow cases. To do it, I would have had to lie, claiming to be in a high risk category for the virus, which I’m not. And, living alone, I would have had to find a signing witness, which would have been a hassle. All that’s in addition to the shenanigans going on with the US Postal Service.
So, early voting it was. I showed up right at the opening time, and still ended up waiting in line for over an hour. My state is only gradually and belatedly acknowledging that early voting is a thing a lot of people want to do, and they still don’t put nearly the resources into it as in election day itself. Granted, staffing these polling centers for over a week costs more, but that’s the rules that have been set out. It would be a lot cheaper for everyone involved if, well, everyone could vote by mail without obnoxious requirements.
At least voting early, the crowd was obviously more left learning. So everyone was wearing a mask and observing social distancing. There were a couple of self entitled assholes, one who had his mask on under his chin, the other who ripped it off as soon as he could. I’m sure it’s only a coincidence that both of these guys were older white males (I observe as an older white male). But I would anticipate there will be a lot more like them in the election day crowds.
It continues to be a source of aggravation to me that we can go online to pay our bills, do banking and investing, pay our taxes, and do many other things requiring rigorous security, but we can’t vote. Of course, there are plenty of political reasons for this. Everyone bemoans the low participation of voters, but for many traditionalists, it’s in their interest that it remain so. Convenient voting would mean wide scale participation, and probably a major shift in the political tides. So the act of voting remains a hassle.
Not that my state is the worst by any means. The secretary of state, despite being a Republican, at least tried to offer more expansive voting options. He just couldn’t get them past a recalcitrant legislature. And the governor, a Democrat, did his part to make sure at least the limited vote by mail options were available. From what I’ve heard, there are far more regressive states out there.
Anyway, those of you who’ve known me for a while won’t be surprised that my vote went to Joe Biden and the Democrats. I’m not going to rant about Trump. I can’t really offer anything you haven’t already heard many times. If you think your interests are aligned with keeping him in the presidency, I can’t imagine what I could say at this point that would make a difference.
There’s been a lot of news about who’s ahead in the polls. Don’t depend on that. Remember 2016. The outcome is not guaranteed by any measure. If you have any preference, be sure to vote, particularly if you live in a swing state, which just happens to be a much broader list this year. Heck, even in my state, which is solidly red, the margins are thinner than I would have imagined. A lot will depend on turnout of the different demographics.
So do your part. Find a way to vote. If you don’t, your opinion literally won’t count.