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Now I have always been excited to do my part and my civic duty. I remember as a little girl going with my parents to the Salvation Army (their local voting centre) on election day to watch them cast their vote. Back then you just gave your name (the person volunteering probably already knew you) and they checked you off. You went into your little booth, pulled the curtain around you, grabbed the special tool and were off. So many dreams were created in that booth. You felt as though you ACTUALLY had the power to create change. After all, that was the American dream.
In the city I grew up in, I was lucky to work for a few summers at City Hall. I got to know some of the politicians and see how things worked from the inside. Maybe because of this reason, when I became of voting age, I remember being excited to vote. My friends who have known me forever often asked if I had never left would I have run for politics? The answer is maybe. I am a person who likes to evoke change. I like to be part of the solution group. I also believe that you can’t bitch if you don’t vote. I have friends who choose not to vote and I yell at them. Usually the response I get is we’re in Massachusetts, it will always be blue. If you don’t know, a blue state in the US is a Democratic State and a red state is a Republican state. Since 1900 the state of Massachusetts has voted for the Republican presidential nominee 10 times, so definitely not unheard of, just not the norm. And the attitude of “my vote doesn’t count” is what many people say is the reason why the outcome of the 2016 election was the way it was. Now I promised myself before I sat down that I would keep this as non political as I could. My goal isn’t to recruit more Democratic, Republican or Independent specific voters. My goal is to get you to just get off your butt and go vote. To believe, like me, that you (and your vote) can make a difference.
The America of today is different than the America I left over a decade ago. Were the same issues facing the country then? Absolutely, things don’t change overnight. Did I as a Greek-American woman feel as though I was discriminated against–absolutely (those stories I’ll share at a later time). But regardless of all this did I feel as though I could bring about change to the world around me and make it a better place? You bet your bottom dollar I did. So off I went every day to try. As a member of the human race please do not give up. A friend posted a meme with this messaging and I thought the words couldn’t ring more true: “I’m mentally drained from the pandemic, racism and murders in addition to my own personal shit. I’m MF tired.”
Please my friends muster up the strength to register to vote if you haven’t done so already. The voter registration deadlines vary by state but from what I can see are between October 4th and 27th, with a couple of states letting you register in person day of. To see what the rules are for your state click here. If you are in the USA and haven’t registered yet, please go here. If you are like me and voting from abroad please go here.