I will be out of the office all day, Tuesday, November 3, 2020. My work day will last from 5:30 AM to 8:30 PM. No, it’s not a conference, although I’ve kept such hours (and longer) working at conferences. I will be serving as an election precinct official on election day.

I’ve taken the training. I’m committed. I do not feel prepared.

Just as a reminder to everyone in Ohio who will be voting:

  • Curbside voting is available to those who, for whatever reason, want to vote in person and cannot or will not enter the voting area. Curbside voting will involve the assistance of two election precinct officials–one Democrat and one Republican–to ensure all proceeds as is proper.
  • It is illegal to engage in electioneering or politicking within 100 feet of the voting area. The designated neutral zone will be marked. Electioneering and politicking include, but is not limited to, wearing clothing or accessories supporting a political party or candidate, handing out political literature, or verbally expressing political views. In other words, keep your conversation to nonpolitical topics and dress for fashion/comfort, not political expression.
  • Due to government mandates, all who enter the voting premises must wear a mask to inhibit the spread of COVID-19. Apparently, it’s not an issue if you spread influenza, pink eye, anthrax, polio, typhoid, cholera, or bubonic plague. Egad.

Regardless of my political views, all citizens have a right to vote and I urge all citizens to exercise that right. Vote once. No one gets multiple votes. If you cannot remember whether you voted (early voting, by mail, or if you requested a mail-in ballot), then you may vote a provisional ballot which will be counted after the Board of Elections has determined whether you already voted.

Once the election concludes, I dearly hope the fear mongering, vitriol, and general ugliness incited and exacerbated by the media–that includes Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn–will settle. I’m tired of it and I’m sure you are, too.

I’m not going to use this forum to express my own political views. Nothing I say will convince you if you hold different political leanings and I don’t necessarily care to preach to the choir. All I ask is that you consider the ramifications of your vote. I especially urge women to vote. From H. G. Cattel’s argument to support women’s suffrage presented to the House of Representatives in 2011: “‘Consent of the governed’ means women as well as men; for they are subject to government as well as men.”

If you fail to vote, then consider this: The fewer people who vote, the more influential each person’s vote is. My mother, whose politics oppose mine, takes a surprisingly hard line on the exercise of the right to vote. In her words, “If you don’t vote, then you have no right to complain.”

It’s that simple. Your failure to exercise your right to affect the future of our nation does not give you the right to gripe if your favored candidate loses, because it might have been your vote that tipped the scales in that candidate’s favor. You’ll never know.

Every word counts. So does every vote.