Get out and vote!

It’s Election Day. Get out and vote! Everything you need to know—polling places, hours, and a sample ballot—can be found at the excellent site, which is run by the nonpartisan League of Women Voters.

I have written about this before, so please forgive the repetition, but I’m a strong believer in exercising your right to vote at every possible opportunity because of my own experiences. Back in 2000, when I was a newspaper reporter for the Melrose Free Press, I covered a mayoral election that was won by a single vote. That’s right: On election night, the winner had a margin of one vote (it opened up to ten on the recount). From this I drew three lessons:

1. Vote, dammit! This election is going to be close in many districts. Your vote matters.

2. If your vote is challenged, insist on voting using a provisional ballot. In the election I covered, the provisional ballots were opened on the recount and several were counted.

3. Once the election is over, move on. That single vote that decided the election? It wasn’t mine. I didn’t vote for the winner, which is a little embarrassing to admit, now that I work for him. The fact is, he turned out to be a far better mayor than I would have guessed from watching him as an alderman and a candidate. Fortunately, people on both sides dropped their animosity fairly quickly and started working together. That’s what we all need to do on Wednesday.

That’s it. Go, vote. Regularly scheduled programming will return tomorrow.

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  1. I got my appendix removed by emergency at 10pm this past Sunday, and I still plan to get out and vote! My sister helpfully informed me that handicapped people can jump to the front of the line (she went earlier and waiting 2 hours to vote), so if I bring my discharge papers, I should be good. I can’t drive for like a week because of this, but my mom and I have to go to the same polling place anyway. I would have early voted, but who the hell can predict this sort of thing? I fell ill Sunday at like 2-3am, was in the hospital 12 hours later, and discharged about noon yesterday. Hopefully I’ll be better in like a week, but voting is today, dammit! So if I’m going out to vote when I can barely walk more than 20 feet, the rest of you have no excuse!

    • Just got back from voting! I did get to jump up to the front of the line, everyone seemed quite impressed that I wanted to vote so bad despite being in a lot of pain (I hadn’t taken my pain meds in about 12 hours at that point). So I had my appendix removed and am still in a good amount of pain, I went out to vote, what’s your excuse?

      • Brigid Alverson says

        You are awesome! Congratulations! And thank you for sharing your story—that’s very inspirational! I hope your next Election Day is a lot easier!

        • Well I don’t have any other optional body parts to lose. I had my tonsils out as a child and my wisdom teeth several years back. I didn’t go to vote for the president, because my state always leans one way, pretty much guaranteed, but I went to go vote for marriage equality. And considering how (embarrassingly) slimly it passed, I think it was worth it to go out and vote for the local issues.