I didn’t get to show love on Valentine’s Day, by casting my vote in the primary election.
Monday, February 14, 2022 was the first day of early voting and I wanted to walk into a polling location and cast my vote for the candidates of my choice.
No matter how long it took, I was going to go through every page, until the very end of the ballot, to make sure that I did my civic and moral duty.
I wanted to cast my vote for those who came before me and were denied; for those who will never vote because of interactions with a system that stripped them of that right; and, for those yet unborn who deserve to have people with decency and common sense making decisions about their future.
I missed that first day, and second; however it is my intent to not let this week come to an end without voting. Until I make it to the polls, I pray every day that I will make it to the polls because I would hate for some incompetent, ill-prepared, unconscionable and yes, unethical person to be elected because of my refusal to take advantage of the right to vote.
Critics or devil’s advocates would say that I voted before and we still ended up with incompetent, ill-prepared unconscionable and yes, unethical people in office.
True! You won’t get an argument here.
Which brings me to my truth.
Dr. Ben Chavis of the National Newspaper Publishers Association recently stressed the importance of voting, especially in Texas where we have been dealing with so many oppressive and racist laws.
I have to believe that every vote counts, that my vote counts, and that if you vote, yours will too.
So, every day, I am having discussions about voting.
Sadly, there’s no difference in the young mother of three who has found herself dependent on government assistance and the college-educated man working in corporate America, or the homeless person living under the bridge. People of all walks of life are opting out of the process that is determining their very existence.
According to the secretary of state, 66% of 17 million registered Texas voters joined me at the polls, and that was pretty high for Texas!
Well, that was a presidential election! In contrast, although there was a significant increase during the midterm election in 2018, 46.3 should have and could have been better.
Fast forward to 2022 and folks are already predicting the turnout is going to be low.
People we can’t afford a low turnout.
I applaud Black Voters Matter and look forward to their efforts in Texas this week. Hopefully everyone will be just as engaged.
We need every able-bodied person voting.
We need every elected official out campaigning, even if they don’t have an opponent or they aren’t on the ballot.
Face it! You can’t dust off your “we need everybody voting” message only when you want people to vote for you!
The playbook is real. The struggle doesn’t stop. The issues must be addressed.
Furthermore, no matter how much you “don’t like politics,” you can’t hide or disengage yourself without consequences and repercussions.
Efforts to encourage people to go to the polls can’t be minimized or stymied. We have to remain vigilant and focused. We have to be encouraging and supportive, while also informative and non-judgmental.
No matter what!
We have to get out the vote, because every vote does matter!