10 November 2020

Notes from Exile: Elections in the Time of Coronavirus

Complete with masks and stickers.
So, we did the thing. My friend Anne and I went to vote in person on November 3rd around lunchtime, and due to my county having about sixty-eleven polling places we were the only folks there. Compared to the long lines I saw on telly for literally everywhere else and the stories from my friends about 2+ hour waits, we were pretty lucky. 

I didn't have pearls to wear for RBG or Chucks for Kamala Harris, but I wore some of my VERY PROFESSIONAL CLOTHES in black and blue and jeans. It felt like we were joining the rest of our country, picking up our feet and letting our votes carry us along on the blue wave that I was certain would be wiping out the pain of the last four years.

Well, as we know by now (and don't come at me with this lawsuit nonsense, there is less than ANY credible evidence for voter fraud), it wasn't so much of a blue wave as it was a neck and neck battle that is still going on as votes are still being counted and confirmed.

I have had a lot to say over the past week, but I will try to summarize the main points because really, isn't that what you want from a blog? Sure you do. If you wanted flowery and slight sweary prose you'd be following me on social media. (That was a hint. Get to it.)

1. There were always going to be a lot of mail-in ballots because it's a pandemic, y'all. There are people who literally cannot come to the polls to vote, due to being sick or trying to avoid being sick, etc. People don't want to be around others that aren't in their bubble. (Part two of don't come at me: the picture above contains one of only a few people that I will willingly get THAT close to right now. She's in my bubble. The greater electorate is most certainly NOT.) There are also a considerable number of registered voters who are outside of the US at the moment. Those folks cannot come to the polls and show an ID and vote - not to mention the photo ID requirement can be construed as voter suppression, but I digress. To say that mail-in ballots should not count if they are received after the date of the election - even if they are postmarked beforehand or on the day - means that those folks are ineligible to vote, a right of every American over the age of 18. 

Sidebar: If you are going to delegitimize the votes of ex-pats around the world, then could you please do something about the fact that the US is one of only two countries in the entire world that requires its citizens to pay taxes on foreign earned income? Taxation without representation indeed.

2. I'm just going to point out that if there was such widespread election fraud perpetrated by the left/Democrats, then I would love for someone to explain Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham to me, please? Seriously. The right/GOP seems to believe that we are so well coordinated that we planned all of this just to get rid of Trump, but thought we'd be okay with having McConnell and Graham? How does that even make sense? The answer is that it doesn't, and I think if I were either of those two men I'd act like shotgun in Supernatural and keep my cakehole shut before someone starts looking into voter suppression in their states. 

Sidebar the second: I don't really think there is voter suppression in South Carolina and I can't speak to Kentucky. I just think that South Carolina is so vibrantly red that most of the state can't even fathom voting blue, even though that might just be a good change for our state. Moving on.

3. Y'all, I have never been more proud to say that Georgia is my home state! Thanks to the herculean efforts of black women in Georgia, the state flipped blue for Biden. I don't think that Georgia has been at the forefront of a presidential election this much since 1976...and maybe 1980. Stacey Abrams, among others, got out and registered something like 800,000 folks who were previously not registered to vote (because if you live in Georgia and you are black or brown, why bother?). She had the governor's race stolen from her (come on, her opponent was the incumbent Secretary of State that managed elections, FFS), but instead of being bitter, she became even more determined to see equality in voting in her state.

4. Finally, a few comments to address the noise I've heard since last Tuesday: a larger than normal turnout at the polls will equate to a larger number of votes, it's just math. Also, if you have spent the last four years trying to exert control over or potentially harm people that I love including but not limited to BIPOC, sexual assault survivors, and women, you will have to excuse me if I need to take a minute before I can react to the election results with anything but glee and a tiny bit of neener-neener. Joe Biden does not have dementia, he is a kind and thoughtful man that doesn't spend his time shouting and trying to bully his opponents into seeing things his way. I can see how you might be confused. 

Whew! Now then. Back to work - and as I saw in more than a few memes over the past week, make sure you wear your shoes, ladies. There's glass all over the floor from the shattering of that ceiling.


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