Today is Election Day! And it promises to be one of the most important elections, some say, in their lifetime. The outcome of todays vote will determine the direction the country will take for generations to come. It will either be a solidification of Trumpism, racism and other divisions or a repudiation of Trumps agenda. Democratic voters will have to turn out in large numbers to overcome voter suppression and other dirty tricks. Youth will have to turn out. People of color will have to turn out. And if you dont vote, please know that counts towards a continuation of Trumps agenda.
While this is not a presidential election year, there are many federal, state and local races taking place that have a huge impact on our daily lives. These races include all 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, one-third of all U.S. senators, 36 state governors, 3 U.S. territory governors and dozens of city mayors. Also on the ballots are a wide variety of citizen initiatives and propositions, touching on issues from housing to healthcare.
In states like Georgia and North Carolina, attempts have been made to suppress voters from turning out, especially those from Black and Brown communities. From the moving of polling locations to the shifting of voting districts, many voters of color are complaining that the elections have been manipulated in favor of Donald Trumps Republican Party. In some instances, language interpreters are being blocked from asking immigrant voters if they need help while waiting in line. And just yesterday, on Tuesday, November 5, U.S. Border Patrol announced that it would be conducting a so-called crowd control exercise on Election Day in El Paso, the hometown of Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate Beto ORourke and near a Latinx neighborhood in El Paso. Customs and Border Protection spokesman Roger Maiser claims there is no link to the election date.
Nonetheless, young people and progressive voters of color are heading to the polls in droves, presenting major challenges to the ruling GOP.
Republicans hold a majority in both the House and the Senate, as well as two-thirds of state governors seats. Lets not forget " people died for the right for all U.S. citizens to vote, including Black and Brown people. The Voting Rights Act, a major victory of the Civil Rights Movement which prohibits racial discrimination in voting, wasnt signed until 1965. That was just 53 years ago, which is not very long. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, over 40 people were killed during the 1950s and 60s for their participation in protests demanding that Black and Brown people get the right to vote.
Before then, voters of color were systematically marginalized from participating in this countrys political system. Some argue, however, that that systematic marginalization is still taking place today with voter suppression and gerrymandering. Also, much of the Voting Rights Act was gutted in 2013 with a Supreme Court decision that struck down parts of the legislation as unconstitutional.
Overall, a lot is at stake today.
How and where can you vote? Why should you vote? Where can you get polling information? What do you do if your name isnt on polling lists? How is the media covering all of this?