I vividly remember my first experience voting in a general election. The year was 2000 and the battle for President between Al Gore and George W Bush was as close as they get. I was away at University, about an hour and a half or so from my hometown. I didn’t get an absentee ballot, so I had to skip class and drive back to get to my polling place. I was so excited to go, and I didn’t have any money for gas. I was running on fumes when I got to my mom’s house and raided her coin jar for enough money to get me back to school.
I filled up and went to vote. There was a long line, but I was so jazzed to cast my ballot I didn’t care. It moved swiftly and I got into my booth after 15 minutes or so. I had no idea what I was doing, so I read the instruction card and went along filling in my selections. Never been a fan of straight-ticket voting. I voted for Richard Lugar, a republican senator who had in office since before I was born. Back then it wasn’t as easy to get online and check each senator’s voting record. If it had been, I may have voted differently.
Regardless, I had fulfilled my civic duty and used my vote to help Al Gore win. Well, the popular vote anyway. We all know how that whole thing ended up shaking out, no need to relive it. If you were a Gore voter like me, you probably also agree that the electoral college should be abolished. Gore won the popular vote by 500,000. In 2016, Clinton won by over three million. It’s antiquated and needs to go away.
The electoral college is just one of many issues that disenfranchise voters. It’s up to us to take the country back and return the United States to the people instead of the corporations. The only way we’re going to do it is to show up and make our voices heard at the ballot box.
Enter Jim Knable. He’s working with Luna Stage’s Voting Rights Project to release an album called Songs Of Suffrage. Each week he releases a new song and plays it live, followed by a discussion about the theme (tonight’s live stream is a song called “Fire In The Sky,” and I doubt it’s about the D.B. Sweeney movie of the same name). You can find the link to upcoming live streams, as well as previous episodes, here. They’ll be up every week until the election.
“Don’t Wait” is a song that really reflects the feelings of a lot of voters. “My candidate is going to win (or lose) anyway, so why should I vote? It won’t matter.” People really need to shake that idea and realize they have a voice and every voice deserves to be heard. Knable illustrates that through the song, reminding us all what happens when people stay home.
Make sure you’re registered to vote! If you aren’t sure, go to vote.org and find out. Request your ballot today if you plan to vote-by-mail. Have a plan to early vote if you want to do that. It seems like every four years the media tells us it is the most important election of our lives, and this time I think they’re actually right. We can’t allow the current administration to continue if we want our democracy to survive. Forget your #settleforbiden energy and get pumped! This is your chance to stand up for your country and strike down fascism!