So now we have another voter.
Tabitha is eighteen now, legally an adult, which comes with all sorts of new rights and responsibilities. She can sign her own forms. She’s getting ready to go to college. And thanks to the 26th Amendment, she can vote.
Not that there aren’t any number of political leaders and an entire political party working very hard to prevent any such thing from happening, mind you. We’ve seen an explosion of voter suppression over the last decade, here in The Land Of The Free (tm). As for me and my house, we do our best to poke such things in the eye with sharp sticks.
Kim and I always vote. Always. Every primary. Every general. Every time. Voting is how you make your voice heard in a democracy, and it is what give you your right to complain when things don’t go your way. If you can vote and you don’t, of your own free will, you need to sit down and shut up about things.
Today’s election was a fairly small one, as much as such things can be said to be small. There was only one race on the ballot – a State Supreme Court race between an NRA-backed pro-gerrymandering right-wing extremist on the one hand and two actual judges on the other. One of those three people won’t be on the ballot for the general election, and the fact that the odd person out will likely be one of the actual judges is just one more reason for people to doubt the existence of a providential higher power. Supreme Court justices are big deals, and Wisconsin’s Supreme Court has been an unapologetic branch of the GOP for a decade now, rendering it a laughingstock as these things go. It will take more than one election cycle to fix that. But you have to start somewhere, and today is as good a day as any.
Of course it rained all day, after having rained all last night, on top of what had been ten inches of snow and and what still was frozen earth, flooding out entire roads here, which meant that actually being able to get to the polling place here in Our Little Town was a bit of a chore.
We were the only ones there, other than the poll workers.
Kim and I dutifully went up to the folks with the big books, presented evidence of having paid our poll tax as required under Wisconsin law, and cast our ballots. Wisconsin still uses paper ballots, which means you can actually go check the results if you’d like. It’s nice that way.
Tabitha went over to another table where a nice older man gave her a form to fill out, examined her drivers license, and eventually pronounced her fit to vote. It was much less of a hassle than I had feared it would be, so a win all around.
She got her ballot, proceeded to the wobbly little plastic booths that they give you to make your choice upon, and then fed the big paper sheet into the reader. They stamped the back of her hand with a blue “I Voted” stamp, and away we went.
Not every milestone is dramatic. But they’re all important.
Congratulations, Tabitha. Well done.