Today is Election Day; many of you may have voted already, but after today, this is it. So if you have any problems voting today -- including (but not limited to) finding your polling place, voter intimidation, accessibility issues, voting machine problems, and provisional ballot issues -- call 1.866.687.8683, a.k.a. 1.866.OUR.VOTE. (In Spanish, that phone number is 1.888.839.8682, or 1.888.VE-Y-VOTA. See other phone numbers at the 866.OUR.VOTE website.) You may also call the U.S. Department of Justice's Voting Rights Hotline at 1.800.253.3931; my guess is that the folks there this year will take you a bit more seriously than the folks there last year might have done. I still worry about pickup trucks with Confederate flags rolling through neighborhoods on Election Day; now I also worry about anti-mask and anti-vax folks yelling at you as you try to vote. And right-wingers will try, once again, to obstruct the vote-counting wherever it happens, so you may want to go to your state's Secretary of State website, find out where they're counting the votes in your area, and call 1.866.OUR.VOTE if you observe anything untoward -- you know, like masses of obnoxious jerks hurling abuse at election workers in an obvious effort to prevent them from doing their damn jobs.
Voting, as I've often said, is a citizen's minimum duty in America -- this is our government, no matter how little it resembles a good government, and we citizens must make it a good government, first on Election Day and then on every day thereafter. Our politicians would prefer that you vote for them on Election Day and then just shut your yap, but they don't get all the say around here, and anyway there's more to vote for on Election Day than one flawed candidate or another. The city of St. Paul, Minnesota, for example, puts a rent control initiative before its voters today -- and, naturally, the city's banksters, real estate moguls, and landlords have spent buku bucks trying to scare voters into rejecting it, even though about half of St. Paul's residents can't afford their rent anymore. Tucson, Arizona puts a minimum wage initiative before its voters today; if they approve it, Tucson would escalate minimum wage hikes faster than the rest of the state, reaching $15/hour in 2025 and indexing the wage to inflation thereafter. New York puts no less than five propositions before the voters that would strengthen the state's redistricting process and make it easier to vote, while Boston voters will try to make their city Board of Education members into elected officials again. It's not all good, though: Colorado places a plethora of questionable-and-worse ballot initiatives before its voters today -- two would slash property taxes and give state lawmakers almost-veto power over federal assistance, while a third would institute a sales tax on marijuana sales; taken together these would (sigh) raise taxes on lower-income working people so wealthy people can have tax cuts. How these play out could have more of an effect on people's lives than the venal human beings who have spent the last year or two hustling for our vote.
So let's get out there and vote today -- and then tomorrow, let's get back to giving our elected leaders, whomever they may be, the what-for they most definitely deserve.