06 November 2016


Get out the vote!

In case you hadn’t noticed, there’s an election on Tuesday. This election includes presidential candidates, of course, but there are also many state and local representatives and policies that we each have an opportunity to consider and weigh in on.

I’m a registered voter in Northern Virginia because that is my most recent official address in the United States. (I just missed the deadline to register to vote in the District of Columbia so I’m sticking with my Virginia address for this election.) I spent a couple of hours today previewing the ballot that I will see on Tuesday. You can do that too - just got to vote411.org and put in your address for personalized election information.

When you put in your address, the website will provide you with the address of your polling place, what you need to bring to vote (in Virginia, I need a photo ID), how to check whether you are registered to vote, and finally: a list of what races will be on your ballot.

There are 10 races on my ballot that include the presidential race, a congressional representative race, two constitutional amendments, the county board of supervisors, and school board, several local budget initiatives like selling bonds to build school and public transit infrastructure.

The website is great because it provides links to the candidates’ websites, link to the local government’s budget justification and explanation, and information from both the proponents and opponents of the amendments, etc.

For example, the Tax Relief Constitutional Amendment:

It’s non-partisan and informative. And it will help me keep my time at the actual ballot box pretty short because I’ve already reviewed the information and made my choices.

I made my choice for President many months ago. I support Hillary Clinton for President. I believe that she is intelligent, compassionate, experienced, and has proven her good judgment and readiness for the office. I will be very proud to cast my vote for her.

K and I volunteered as part of her “ground team” yesterday - canvassing local neighborhoods to help people make a plan to get to the polls. This is a huge opportunity and I want everyone to get out and vote. Even if we disagree about policies and candidates - I want your vote to be counted.  Take this opportunity to practice democracy rather than just benefit from it.

I have lived in Togo and in Lebanon where democracy is much shakier than in the United States. But the only way that we can ensure that democracy will continue to be strong is through our full participation. Voting, volunteering, speaking up about policies we like and don’t like, keeping our politicians accountable not just during the campaign but throughout their tenure.

Go Vote!

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