by Charles S. Garabedian
Early voting for the November 6, 2018, mid-term election began at 10: a.m. today in the small city where I live. This city is in the American South. I have several things to say about it, and that will be done with the following numbered items, which I think you will find interesting and perhaps useful:
(1) I have to walk with a cane because of health problems involving my lower legs and feet. In fact. I can only stand for about 20 minutes before my feet and legs start hurting badly and going wobbly. Our early voting location has a parking lot, but it was pretty full today. Therefore, I had to park in another lot farther away and walk from there to the voting place. Shortly after I got there, my feet and legs became really wobbly. Outside the front door of the polling place, they had a button that handicapped people could push to summon assistance with the voting process. I pushed the button several times and waited on a bench for someone to come and help me. Naturally, no one came. Let me repeat that. Naturally, no one came.
(2) Because no one came, it was fairly clear that I had two choices—go home or go on inside and try to vote. Knowing Trump was in the White House and all was not well, I summoned all of the strength I could muster and went bravely on into the polling place. Because I had arrived so early, I expected to see only a small handful of voters. Much to my shock, a long line of voters stretched out in front of me. I stayed in line long enough to get to the first election commission table and present my driver’s license so they could check it against their list of registered voters.
Soon after that, I was at the second election commission table to sign a form. At that time, I mentioned that my legs were shaking and feeling as if they might collapse under me—and I mentioned that no one came when I pushed the handicapped person’s assistance button. I told them I planned to report that to state government. They looked dumbfounded and nicely told me that I could remember who I was behind in the long line and go sit in a chair at the third election commission table and get behind that person again when they arrived at the table—-which I did. I had to wait about 20 or 30 minutes in that chair.
(3) While I sat in the chair, I did some observing. I did not see any person younger than about 45 years of age. Most of the voters were old people by far——old I tell you—–old!!! Clearly, that young segment of the American population that never votes was not voting while I was there. However, I did eavesdrop on a conversation between two election commission officials. They were amazed at the long line and how many people turned out to vote. One official said that it was clearly the biggest early voter turnout they had ever seen in all the years that the city had been doing early voting. Turnouts that heavy usually favor Democrats in American elections. However, I must say that I was truly dismayed by the utter failure of the youth voter turnout.
Do you hear that young people? If you do not get your butts to the polls, you will probably have Trump for a lot longer than you desire, and Betsy DeVos will implement some policy that will make sure you are still repaying your college loans at age 84. Better get down to the polls boys and girls—-because if you do not—Trump and his minions will eat your future alive!!!!
(4) Finally, I reached the handicapped voting chair and voted while sitting down—for the first time in my life. In my seated position at the voting booth, my thinking was better than it is when I stand up to vote. So, I sat there and carefully did what I promised you folks I was going to do.
I voted against every known Republican on the ballot from local officials all the way up to Governor, U.S. Congressman, and U.S. Senator. I say “known Republican” because three people were running for the local school board, people I did not anticipate seeing on the ballot, but they did not have a partisan tag by their names. If I had known they were going to be on the ballot, I would have done what I did with our supposedly nonpartisan city council candidates. A few nights ago, I called around to find out which ones were Trump supporters, and I voted only for those city council candidates who were not Trump supporters. Sure, my vote was only that of one person, but I made sure Trump and his minions would not get any benefit from my votes—none whatsoever. I hope you will do the same when you vote. Give Trump and his minions zero quarter on anything.
(5) When I finally made my way out of the polling place and back to my van on foot, it was lunch time. Every small city has a locally famous eating place that only the locals know about. I shot over there for lunch. The place was packed tight with diners. When my waitress stepped up to my table to take my order, she saw the “I Just Voted” sticker on my shirt and commented on it. I told her that I had just voted and that I had voted against Trump and his minions in every race. She then offered me her classic “high five” palm, and we smacked our palms together in a loud clap that was audible over much of the restaurant. She was clearly no fan of Trump.
(6) I have done my part with my voting. It is all up to you now. You have it within your power to vote against Trump and fill the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate with Democrats and Independents who do not support the long list of evils that President Trump stands for—-like obfuscating the murder of a Washington Post reporter who was a U.S. resident by law and the husband and dad of an American citizen wife and American citizen children—-just one among a long list of Trumpian evils too long to lay out for you here.
Please dear folks. If you plan to vote, do not sit on your bottoms at home or work and say the following:
Well, it looks like voter turnout is high—so I don’t really need to vote.
That is precisely why Donald J. Trump is sitting in the White House right now. People who were against Trump in 2016 decided that Hillary Clinton was so far ahead in the polls that Trump had no chance of winning—so they just decided to stay at home or stay at work—and not vote. You cannot do that folks. Disasters happen when you do that. Every vote counts. To change things, you cannot just kick back and rest on your laurels and assumptions. You have to get out and vote—and make your vote count. I hope you will make that effort and vote against Trump and all of his sold out fundie minions—either by early voting right now or on the mid-term election day (November 6, 2018).