You are what democracy looks like.
Election Day 2020 has arrived at last. And however you voted in this election, let's just remember that we all have something profoundly exciting to look forward to tomorrow: The relentless flood of texts, messages, phone calls, billboards and advertisements, all encouraging/reminding/begging/hounding us to vote, will at last trickle to a halt.
But as much as I'm looking forward to recovering the use of my sprained "delete" thumb and getting back about 10MB of data storage on my phone, I have to say, every time I got one of those eleventy thousand messages about how important my vote is, I strangely didn't mind it.
Because my vote is important. And so is yours. And I'm grateful to the many, many people who worked all though this maniacal election season to remind me and countless others of that fact.
Thank you, get-out-the-vote volunteers. (Yes, even though you were in my face every time I got online, opened my mailbox or attempted to walk three feet down a commercial street.) The postcard writers, the texters, the emailers, the phone bankers, the street corner clipboard-holders: You are what democracy in action looks like, and you have helped ensure that a record-breaking number of people participate in this election. Thank you.
Thank you, childcare providers. To anyone who is watching someone else's child so that they can get to the polls today, thank you. You are an absolutely essential part of the democratic process—and you have helped ensure that parents' voices are heard in this election. Thank you.
Thank you, poll workers. For showing up even during a pandemic to make sure people can vote, regardless of any potential health risk to yourself. Thank you.
Thank you, postal service employees. For working long, backbreaking, foot-aching shifts and for treating every single ballot like money, like gold, like the precious proof of freedom itself. Thank you.
Thank you, election officials and election workers. Long before election day, your hard work had already begun. You have already been working around the clock to gather, tabulate and process early and absentee votes. You have been coordinating with polling places to get ready for Election Day. You have been training record numbers of new poll workers. You have been staffing drop boxes, counting (and recounting) ballot pouches and verifying signatures and addresses. Your complex, often tedious work is proof that democracy is worth every minute of effort we put into it. Thank you.
Thank you, ballot panel judges. You've already gone to work in many districts to ensure that every voter's intention is given due consideration, and to guarantee that careful thought is given to the eligibility of every vote. Thank you.
Thank you, pollsters. To be honest, reading all the polls this election season has been kinda nerve-wracking...so I can only imagine how stressful they are to execute and analyze. For your good faith effort, for the deep number-crunching geekiness and for the many, many hours of thankless work you put into forecasting our political future, thank you.
Thank you, early voters. Thank you, absentee voters. Thank you if you're voting today.
Thank you to the people who stood on line for hours to vote. Thank you to the people who drove long distances to drop their ballot off at a dropbox. Thank you to the people who delivered pizzas and snacks and cookies to voters waiting in line. Thank you to the musicians who played outside early polling places to remind us that there's something larger than us, something big and beautiful at work here.
YOU are what democracy looks like.
Now please, stop sending me text messages. Seriously.