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Saturday, October 24, 2020

It's Time to Vote!

I was going to do a regular post today, but instead, I'd like to take this time to tell you two things. First off, I have a new Twitter account and have been slowly changing it places, but if you haven't seen my Facebook posts, my new Twitter handle is @ShereenTravels. Unfortunately, my account was compromised and could not be recovered. It's unfortunate, but what are you gonna do.

My second thing is that I want you to go out and VOTE. This is one of the most important elections in our lifetime, which I don't say lightly. If you can vote early, please do so. There are many places where even now the wait in line to vote is hours and hours. I've seen friends post about only waiting for 90 minutes and then I've seen folx posting on Twitter after waiting an excruciating 11 hours in Atlanta, Georgia. People in other countries are dumbfounded that we have to wait at all.

If you are lucky to be able to vote by mail, make sure you get your ballot back ASAP. As much as I still trust the post office, I didn't want there to be any doubt about my ballot, so I dropped it off at the election office. If you have the option to drop at a ballot box or election office, I would encourage you to do this as well. You can also check to see if you ballot has been received

If you know others who don't trust the post office to get their ballot back on time, and are unable to drive to a ballot box, maybe offer to take their ballots with your own (if that's legal in your state) or give them a lift to the ballot drop box (if you can do it safely). 

If you must vote in person, and you want to help others vote, volunteer to help in any way you can, whether that means you drive them to the polls, or figure out a way to get them there, as there are many places that have few polling places and there are tons of people who can't get to them to vote either.

There have been a lot of cases of voter intimidation this time around. If you show up at the polls and there are people blocking the polling station, this is a crime. If you don't feel safe using the voting machines or they are down, you can request a paper ballot. Know your rights and don't forget your ID or proof of residence.

Oregon only votes by mail, so I have already voted and returned my ballot and checked that it was received. I've also offered my services to pick up and drop off ballots for those that need a bit of help to have their vote count. Do you know that only half of eligible voters actually vote in a normal election? This time seems to have motivated a lot of peeps to have their voices heard. Last I checked, over 50 million people have already early voted. In 2016, 138 million people voted in total, so we're more than 1/3 of the way to that number, with expected record numbers in all to take place. 

Younger voters are slower to turn in their ballots, so please encourage everyone to vote. We still have over a week to go, which is both not that many days, but also more than enough to push people to complete their ballots and get them in, or show up at the polls. If they are intimidated by all the boxes, tell them that they, literally, only have to vote for the president if they want. 

Remember, use your secrecy envelope, regardless of whether or not it's required, as some places do and some don't, but let's be extra safe. Make sure to sign your envelope, or your ballot will be tossed out. If your ballot isn't prepaid and you mail it in, you will need two first class stamps.  I've made no secret as to who I'm voting for in this election. I believe in Democracy, racial and marriage equality, healthcare for all, justice, and for a more tolerant America. If you don't, I'm sure you've stopped reading my blog months ago, but if you haven't, I'm not going to tell you not to vote. I also believe in freedom of speech and diversity. Please make your vote count, whoever you vote for.

Thanks for doing your civic duty and helping us work towards a better America. 

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