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 Vote411.org, 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.