Please go out and vote today. While it’s true that New York’s electoral vote outcome is firmly in Obama’s corner, there are many very important downballot races that really need your vote – your support, your minimal effort as a citizen to spend a bit of your day at your polling place to help select how you will be governed over the next term of office. I have seen election days in countries where the choices were non-existent and pre-determined as part of an institutional dictatorship. I have seen election days in countries where the choices were for political parties more than they were for people. We as Americans don’t have a perfect electoral process, but it’s the only one we have right now.
It’s a common refrain from political junkies like I to lecture you on your civic duty of voting. It’s more than that. You really don’t have very many duties as a citizen of this nation, except to pay taxes and obey the law. Voting is one of those unique and fundamental rights that you hold to help choose the direction of your town, city, state, and country. It’s a right that millions around the world do not have. It’s a right that has been kept away from American women, different races, and ethnicities throughout our history. You probably attend July 4th parades, firehall picnics, fireworks displays, and the like to join in our occasional totemic displays of patriotism. All of that is window-dressing. Going out to vote; taking that minimal time to make your most solemn voice – your political voice – to be heard is the real thing.
If you truly think the President is a disaster, you need to go vote for one of his opponents. If you think that your Assemblyperson, your State Senator, or your United States Senator is doing a good or bad job, you need to fill in an oval on a piece of paper, scan it, and tell them.
My endorsements, again are here. They are:
Barack Obama (D-POTUS)(incumbent)
Kirsten Gillibrand (D-US Senate)(incumbent)
Brian Higgins (D-NY26)(incumbent)
Kathy Hochul (D-NY27)(incumbent)
Mike Amodeo (D-SD60)
Justin Rooney (D-SD61)
Ray Walter (R-A146)(incumbent)
Christina Abt (I-A147)
Incidentally, although I made no endorsement, I voted David Shenk for County Comptroller. Given the choice between marginally qualified town finance nerd and wholly unqualified former sensational journalist, I opted for the former.
If you have a sense of humor and you’re not offended by curse words, you can humorously find your polling place here. If you want to find it in a way that’s more safe for work, try this. Every state is different, but polls throughout New York State are open from 6am – 9pm. If you’re in a different state, please consult this list.
Tonight, I will join others to report on and live-Tweet the reactions and results of this election using the Twitter hashtag #WNYVotes. I leave you with President Obama’s closing argument, and the last political campaign speech he will ever give, delivered last night in Des Moines, Iowa, where his road to the Presidency began in earnest in 2007.