The U.S. national election day is Tuesday, November 6, but many states allow for early voting, which allows voters to cast ballots before election day and hopefully avoid long lines and crowds. I am among those who took advantage of early voting. My partner and I voted last Thursday.
I take pride in the freedoms provided by our country’s long-enduring Constitution, which has allowed for open and free elections for more than 200 years.
In the past, I also was among those who would greet voters at the polls to try to persuade them to vote for a particular candidate or a position on a certain referendum issue. However, after getting badly burned in the 2010 election cycle, I vowed that I would not get involved with politics this year. I have kept my promise (both to myself and my partner). However, I couldn’t back off “cold turkey.” Let me explain…
I am blessed to have a number of senior friends. Most of them are happy to accept a ride and go with a group to the early voting center. I like their company, and to be able to offer this service. As I pick up my friends, of course they all chat about various people on the ballot.
As we drive along, I refrain from offering opinions about individual candidates, though every now and then, when one of my friends mentions the R-character who is running for President, I can’t help but make a noise that sounds much like … um … a fart. Seriously — that R-character’s name makes me do that every time. His VP running mate makes me vomit, so a mild fart for the Presidential candidate isn’t so bad.
However, when we are five minutes from arrival at the voting center, I get their attention, and then explain my personal story about why I encourage them to vote “yes” on our Question 6, which if the referendum passes, will allow the law that our state’s legislature passed providing for same-sex marriage go into effect on January 1, 2013. I give a very personal, heart-felt story about how that law affects my personal situation, and ask that each of my senior pals vote “yes” on that question.
A few of my senior pals have said that their church leaders have asked them to vote “no,” however, when they hear my story and know my passionate desire to marry my partner of almost 20 years so we can be treated fairly in the eyes of the law, then they have changed their minds.
As of the time I am writing this blog post, I can say that I have delivered 106 “yes” votes on that question. I think this type of personal persuasion is much more productive than handing out literature at the polls which quickly goes into the trash.
I have not completely backed off from engaging in politics, but I keep my activities more closely directed.
Life is short: civil marriage is a civil right, not a religious matter.