Where will you be on Election Day?

My mother has a habit of saying, “I hope they…” The ellipsis can mean “get rid of Trump,” “do something about AG Barr”,”make sure the Post Office isn’t destroyed”, or a host of other things she thinks need to be done.

Who is she talking about?

I always have the same question: Who are they? In republic like ours, there is no they, there is only us. If we are waiting for the cavalry to come in and save us, we are fucked. It makes me think of the song in Hamilton, “What comes next?

So what comes next? It’s not just about Election Day

This is what we all need to do.

  1. Register to vote. Every election, we are told “this is the MOST IMPORTANT election EVER.” It might be easy to think that it is hyperbole this year but 2020 is not like other elections. Go to Vote.org and either check your registration or register.
  2. Vote. If you are going to vote by mail, please get your ballot as soon as you can and get it back immediately. As you probably know, President Trump is trying to weaken the Post Office enough so that either the ballots won’t make in on time or people will have such little confidence in the system that they just don’t bother. Don’t give away your power. If you do not know where your Board of Elections is, go here.
  3. Volunteer on Election Day. In most election years, most of the volunteer poll workers are older. This year, that is problematic because of Covid-19, which can be more dangerous for older adults. Help is needed. You are needed. Go here if you need more information.
  4. Volunteer before Election Day. There are a ton of places working to get people out to vote or helping get people registered.
  5. Write letters to the editor. Your voice is important. Read the local paper and respond to its content. No one will hear your voice if you do not use it.
  6. Contact your electeds. If your electeds are not representing you in a way that you like, let them know! If they only hear from people who agree with them, they will think they are doing what their constituents want. If you don’t know who represents you in Congress, check this. You can also use a web search engine to find your local peeps.

The only thing more patriotic than voting is protesting

I love that so many people have come out to support and take part in the #BlackLivesMatter movement. It is wonderful to see so many people coming together to say, “No, this systematic and endemic racism is not something that we can allow to continue.”

The problem is attending a rally or protest, as great as that is, is not enough. We have one day when the government has to listen to us. Again, you giving away your power when you stay home (or vote for a third-party presidential candidate).

But Alyson, do you do these things? Oh. My. God. YES! You can find my letters to the editor in papers ranging from the Washington Post to the Gainesville Sun. When I am upset or interested, I call & email my congresspeople and local officials. I am registered to vote and have written asking for an absentee ballot. I will never ask people to do something I don’t do myself. I also plan to volunteer before and on Election Day.

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