John Clark with a soap box moment. Douglas Rooks’ opinion piece in today’s Waterville Sentinel begins thusly: “Tuesday will mark the 50th anniversary of my first vote. Since 1972, I’ve voted in 12 presidential elections and 11 previous midterms, and on a lot of other occasions. “
He might as well have been describing me. Like many of my generation, I wasn’t able to vote at a time when my emotions and involvement was at fever pitch in the late 1960s. Once I was able to register, I vowed never to miss a state or national election and I’ve been able to do so.
In the last decade, I’ve gone beyond simply voting, have gone to several state conventions as a delegate, run for the state legislature, and this year, have campaigned on weekends for Democrats in two counties. When asked to do a bit more by the Progressive Turnout Project, I signed on to purchase 100 postcards and stamps. The organization emailed me a list of 100 registered voters in numerous states from Maine to New Mexico. I addressed each card, added a message to encourage them to vote, as well as thanking them for doing so, and mailed them on October 28th. The process, thanks to arthritic hands and nearly illegible penmanship, took the better part of three days. Will it have an impact? I hope so, but actions like the ones I have taken during this election cycle are important, if only to make me feel as though I’ve done the best I can.
My recent tumble off a stone wall while picking apples that resulted in my landing face first on a tar road, cut short some of what I wanted to do, as well as dope-slapping any remaining feelings of dexterity and ability to do things like I could just a few years ago. I’m sure my emotional state would be worse if I hadn’t gotten involved in the activities described above.
I have one more contribution to democracy this time around. I’m going to a training session this evening so I can be a ballot clerk next Tuesday. God help anyone who tries to harass me on election day.
You have one simple job after reading this-Get off your butt and VOTE. It ain’t rocket science, and I’m not asking/telling you who, or what to vote for. While you’re at it, grab a friend and take them too. If you want to do more, contact the local office of the party of your choice and volunteer to drive folks to the polls. This is just as important in a city as it is in T9, R7.
Think we can’t make a difference? Read this article, then Go vote! https://www.bangordailynews.com/2022/11/02/news/central-maine/pittsfield-library-budget/