On this last day of October, I’m aware we’re just six days from the midterm elections. As always, there’s a great deal at stake, and this election feels even more urgent; health care, immigration, the environment, choice, and many other issues will be impacted by its outcome. In these divided and divisive times, there likely won’t be any landslides. Every. Single. Vote. Counts.
Washington State, where I live, does all voting by mail. Thanks to Washington Governor Jay Inslee, this year the state is picking up the tab for ballot postage. I’ve already inked in the circles on my ballot, put it in its protective sleeve and envelope, and slid it in the mail slot at the post office.
This election, though, casting my vote doesn’t seem like enough.
A couple of weeks ago, I joined about ten friends who signed up with Vote Forward to “adopt voters” to urge them to go to the polls. Vote Forward provided names, addresses, and a template for letters that we personalized with our reasons for pledging to vote in every election. My reasons: It’s my right, my responsibility, and it’s a way I can make a difference. The letters I wrote, along with about 300 more from our group, went in the mail yesterday to Democrats who haven’t voted in recent elections. I hope my note will encourage them to vote this time.
On Saturday, I’ll join Swing Left to participate in a virtual phone bank in support of Kim Schrier for Congress. From the comfort of my own home, I’ll be able to call voters in the 8th district to urge them to vote for her. Schrier’s in a very close race there, and I believe we need her voice in the House.
Tuesday night, I’ll gather with friends to watch election returns. Hopefully, these midterms will result in the election of people and issues I voted for. Regardless of the outcome, though, I hope we’ll be celebrating a record-breaking voter turnout. That’s what democracy is about.
*Afterthoughts are my blog version of a practice followed in some Quaker meetings. After meeting for worship ends, people continue in silence for a few more minutes during which they’re invited to share thoughts or reflect on the morning’s worship. I’ve adopted the form here for last-day-of-the-month brief reflections on headlines, quotes, books, previous posts, maybe even bumper stickers.