It’s Election Day! Make sure you vote, and use this tool from Indivisible to touch base with five neighbors and get them to vote too. It’s so easy! MrB and I have touched base with 15 people in our building already.
Our neighbors are all excited to vote, but should you encouter anyone who believes their vote doesn’t matter, tell them that elections have been decided by a single vote — or the lack thereof. The example that sticks in my mind is from Virginia, when Democrat Shelly Simonds and Republican David Yancey were tied after their 2017 race for a seat in the state’s House of Delegates. To break the tie, a name was chosen at random out of a glass bowl. Yancey won the drawing and the Republican party won control of the state legislative body. (Two years later, Simonds ran again and defeated Yancy.)
The Virginia race wasn’t unique, except for the bowl. So Informed has a great Instagram post listing other exceptionally tight races. Notable highlights include Bernie Sanders, who won his 1981 race for mayor of Burlington, Vt., by 10 votes, and Al Franken, who won his 2008 Senate race by 312 votes out of nearly 2.9 million cast.
Now that the extremist and illegitimate Supreme Court has thrown out Roe vs. Wade, the state races matter for reproductive rights more than ever. If Republicans gain control of a state legislature by one vote, that state could see a total abortion ban next year. Pennsylvania is one of those states. The Republican-controlled legislature there has already voted for an abortion ban once. The legislature just needs to vote in a second consecutive session and then the issue goes to the ballot. That WILL happen in 2023 if Republicans win, so if you’re in Pennsylvania and you don’t want to consult with local politicians on what you should do with your own body, I strongly suggest you vote Democrat all down the ballot.
But that applies everyone, not just Pennsylvania. Don’t skip voting and act shocked when your state not only takes away your bodily autonomy, but pursues you with criminal charges for what you do with your body in another state. Yes, if abortion is banned in your state, I promise you that MAGA legislators will work on ways to prevent you from traveling to another state for an abortion or to charge you with a crime when you come home.
Of course, whether you give birth against your will is just one of the many ways that politics affects your everyday life. Check out this list from So Informed.
So vote today, if you haven’t voted early or absentee. If you did vote by mail, some states let you see if your ballot was correctly counted. In 24 states, if there’s an error on your main-in ballot — maybe you didn’t sign in the right spot or left off an address — you can “cure” the ballot but that has to be done TODAY, so check right now. Finally, in addition to using Indivisible’s neighbor-canvassing tool, text your friends and family. You’d be surprised how many people put off voting till the last minute and then, when pressed for time, decide one vote isn’t going to make a difference. But now you know that it does, so share the information. Knowledge is power!