Americans in 50 states are voting for President.
Hoosiers are voting for Governor, in a race that seems to have been almost silent — I have seen exactly one sign for candidate Jill Long Thompson, and only one television commercial for Mitch Daniels. Kentuckians are voting for Senator. Americans in every one of the 435 congressional districts are voting for their representative in the House of Representatives, as well as various state and local officials. (In Harrison County, Indiana, we’ll be electing County Commissioners, members of the School Board, Surveyor, Recorder, Sheriff, Coroner — people who will make decisions like whether my daughter gets music instruction in 5th grade, whether the road in front of the church gets repaired, whether the Harrison County Hospital gets public funding, . . .)
Today, some of the voters will be women. That wasn’t always true, as Wimminwise has noted before. (See Votes for Women, May 6, 2008.) Today, some of the voters will be African Americans. That wasn’t always true, either, in practice, and even now faces recurrent challenges. (See, e.g., this annotated bibliography on the legal record.)
Not everyone will be allowed to vote. (See the NAACP’s briefing points on restoring the vote to ex-felons.)
So we hope those of our readers, women, and men, who have the right to vote have registered (October 6 was the Last Day in Kentucky), have checked out the location of their polling place (Google seems eager to help, if necessary) and have made the scheduling and child care and other plans necessary to get to the polls today.
Because our various foremothers and forefathers fought, in various ways, sometimes literally, for a long time, for this right to vote. Exercising that right is one of the ways citizens today reaffirm the resolve “that these dead shall not have died in vain, . . . and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.” (Full text of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address)
[The image comes from the gallery of www.gospelnonviolence.com, a web site devoted to promoting non-violent direct action.]