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Saturday, October 17, 2020

The Ballot: Part 1

 Marie grabbed the keys from inside her purse as she glanced at the sky. Black clouds told her rain would come soon. In an attempt to beat the rain she opened her garage door, keys in hand and maneuvered around her red Hyundai as she walked at a quick pace to the mailbox. Slipping the key in the lock, it gave it's usual argument as she jiggled the lock and it opened. Inside was the precious letter she'd been waiting impatiently for.

Mail in hand, she inhaled the muggy air and quickly walked back to her house, her heart beating at a pace faster than normal. The leaves on the branches of the large shade trees swayed in the breeze, reminding her rain was on the way. She made it home before the first drop and slipped inside. Opening the letter she laid it on the table and opened the app on her phone where she'd stored the efforts of her research.

With confidence and a careful eye and hand she filled in the bubbles with a black pen. Double checking that she'd made the correct selections. Then slipped the ballot into the security sleeve and carefully slid the ballot into the envelope provided. She sealed it and check all the correct boxes and signed it.

Her heart finally returning to a normal pace but then another thought hit her. Should I mail the ballot? Under most circumstances she wouldn't have thought twice. But this year, this election was like no other and the security of the election had been threatened. The threats so far empty and what she considered a weak man and weak party attempts to control the population. Marie decided it was better to be safe than sorry and searched the Supervisor of Elections website and moaned audibly when the only ballot drop-off was 30 minutes away at the Supervisor of Elections office.

She made the decision to make the drive. It was Sunday and if she dropped it off today by tomorrow it'd be counted and she could breathe easy again.

Picking her keys off the table where she'd laid them in her excitement she thrust her purse over her shoulder and picked up the ballot. She laid the ballot on the front passenger seat as though it was made of glass and started the engine and exited the garage. Rain immediately washed over her windshield. The garage door groaned in its usual fashion as it closed and she reversed out of the driveway and into the street.

This was something she had to do, not only for her but for the country, for the people and for democracy. The drive was pleasant even in the rain. The rhythmic sound of the patter on her windshield drowned by We're Not Going to Take it by Twisted Sister. She couldn't help but see similarities in the song to her current position. She cranked it a little louder.

The rain eased to a drizzle as she entered the sleepy town by the river. Following her GPS it took on a path that weaved through a neighborhood. The oppositions signs planted in two's and three's in people yards as if decorated for the holiday. An eerie feeling clutched her gut as she suddenly felt unsafe and feared for the precious cargo on the passenger seat next to her.

It wasn't as if anyone knew her selections. There was no way they could. She wondered for a second if it would have been safer to mail it or even show up to an earlier voting site. Taking a deep breath she knew what her gut told her. It chanted for her to drop it off. The chant echoed in her head and in her heart. She was making the right choice. The only choice.

However the eerie feeling crept over her spine as she turned the corner, more opposition signs staring at her as if laughing. It was more the gun toting owners of the home she feared over the signs themselves. After all, they were plastic and metal, harmless on their own. It wasn't even the guns that bothered her but she knew the people who owned them and how unreasonable some were when it came to the love of their dictator. 

Any reasoning their mind once held was gone. They worked like a hive mind interpreting the ramblings of a man not only unfit to lead a country but with deep seeded hate for those who opposed him. It was his first action she remembered as the leader of the country in which he'd unAmericanized a young man publicly for using his first amendment rights of free speech and peaceful protest. He ridiculed the young man publicly and his followers played along. They didn't question what they were doing.

A shiver ran down her spine in memory. It was the first glimpse he was a man who craved control. At that time she couldn't have dreamt how far that need for control would go and how divided a once great country that thrived on differing opinions and diversity would fall.

That made her mission all that more imperative and she pulled her car into a spot, close to the ballot box. The silence of the town deafening as she opened the metal door and dropped the precious cargo into the box and closed the door. It seemed like time was never ending as she waited to hear it hit the other ballots in waiting. It's long journey and tink sounding plunk told her there were no other ballots in the box or not many. 

Satisfied, she sucked in a deep breath and walked to her car with confidence. She'd done it. Her ballot was in, now came the waiting game to make sure it was counted.

Copyright Elle Klass 2020

Saturday, October 3, 2020

It is your right! Use your super power!

 As those of us in the U.S. enter the final month before the 2020 election I thought I'd give my opinion(s) on voting.

Voting is a right, granted in the U.S. constitution to all citizens 18 years or older. It is not a privilege or entitlement but a right.

Traditionally the younger generations don't vote in high numbers. After some research it seems something like 30% of young folks voted in 2016.

Traditionally older generations vote in high numbers.

These are important facts. If every young person today voted in the next election they would out number the older generations. As a citizen our super power is the right and practice of voting. I don't think younger people feel much connection with the candidates or understand how powerful their super power is. Sure, neither candidate may embody the change and ideals the younger generation has. That's always going to be the case.

When I was young I didn't feel much connection either and didn't feel election after election that much would ever change. The one thing I always did was vote. It's a tough call sometimes. But I chose to take the stance of voting for the candidate(s) I thought would do the MOST good for the people and the country. That ideal has gotten me through many elections and my conscience feels good with that choice.

If we look at the U.S. today there are glaring problems. Not only in the U.S. but around the world; climate change, running low on natural nonrenewable resources, stripping forests to build homes, stores, gas stations. Viruses have been on the rise as we disturb their natural reservoirs. We also know nucleic acids such as DNA and RNA - the instructions and builders of life - mutate. Viruses are microscopic structures that carry DNA or RNA and they infect cells, usually specific cells. These are issues that plague us.

It seems the older generation sweeps them under the rug. "It's all a hoax, climate change isn't real, what do you mean viruses mutate, there's plenty of coal, oil and natural gas, don't listen to the media." I've heard it all, over and over.

Truth: These things are really happening and the younger generation is attuned to the fact that they are happening. They are discouraged by those who don't believe it. That's why it is so important for young people to vote. It is the world you are inheriting and you can start making a positive difference if you use your super power and vote.

Fact: The younger generations in the U.S. outvoted the older generations in 2018. If only 30% voted, imagine how much a difference 90% would make?

Fact: The younger generations tend to vote very similar. The older generations don't change much in voting patterns and/or parties.

Fact: You don't HAVE to choose a political party. You can register as an independent or no partisan voter.

I urge all the younger people that aren't yet registered to vote to get online now and register.




Once registered use your vote, your voice, your super power to vote in the Nov. 3 election!