Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like
Do you have a voting plan for Tuesday?
I just read about this the other day. You need a voting plan because sometimes things go wrong even for those with the best intentions. And sometimes things go wrong on purpose, like the way Maricopa County Arizona cut the number of polling places last spring for the primary “to save money.” It caused tons of people to bail out of the long lines, you can be sure. The desired effect.
You can outsmart ‘em by planning ahead. Don’t assume you can stroll in on your lunch break and dash through the ballot (ours here in California had seventeen propositions to be voted on!). You can’t safely assume either that you can get in after work. Say you work till six and your state’s polls close at eight. You could find yourself at the tail end of a two-hour line. It’d be a shame if they cut off entries ten people in front of you. A shame, says the Republican Secretary of State, smiling like the Cheshire Cat.
Ideally we should all vote early. If you get a chance, do it. I’ve voted by mail already, and while it’s too late now to request a mail-in ballot, if you have yours in hand go ahead and fill it in. Get it in the mail. Don’t let a merry mix-up cause it to be late.
On election day, if you can, take some time off to vote. Make sure you know alternative routes to your polling place. It’d be a shame if malfunctioning stoplights caused a massive traffic jam that makes you late. A shame, says the Republican head of Traffic Control in your city.
Help family, friends, and neighbors get to the polls too. Old folks. Millennials who are this close to saying, “What difference does it make? I’m behind on Instagram.” No. Seize them by the arm and take them to vote with you.
And as part of your voting plan, don’t let the gun-toting (in some states) poll watchers who wear Trump t-shirts saying “She’s a C&NT” or “Lock Her Up!” intimidate you. Ignore them. As Burt Bacharach would say, “Walk on by.” These people are like the creeps outside abortion clinics who want to show you grotesque pictures right before your important decision. This time they’re the grotesque picture, and they remind you you’re doing the patriotic thing in rejecting their candidate.
Finally, tell everyone you’ve voted. Tweet it, Facebook it, Pinterest it, Instagram it, Snapchat it, blog it. This will help create a social encouragement and is a damn sight better than the shaming some engage in (such as by threatening to tell all your neighbors that you don’t vote). Make it seem like a positive thing. Because it is.
And this time it’s a crucial thing.