I voted this morning. Wisconsin is an early voting state, which means you can cast your vote (using the absentee ballot) in person anytime until election day itself. As it happens, I actually will be absent on election day, but anyone can cast an early ballot in this state (and 25 others).
I cast my vote for a straight Democratic ticket. The reason is my general alarm over the direction of the Republican Party – especially their War on Muslims and fearmongering about Islam, and their outright lies about middle class taxes and the federal deficit. I voted to protect Social Security from Wall Street’s casinos, I voted in defense of preventive medicine and health insurance for children, and I voted in favor of high speed rail.
I’ve several friends and family members who have indicated that they don’t see a need to go out and vote. All voted for Obama in the last election, but their apathy boils down to this: “at least the Republicans will let me keep more of my money.” They are mistaken, but only because they have real lives and are not dedicated political junkies. The failure this election cycle was entirely the democrats’ – and Obama’s – to communicate to the average voter, even a nominal supporter, why it matters. That communication needed to be year-round, it needed to be on mass media and not just political spots.
If you are in an early voting state, you need to go out and vote today. Not tomorrow. That’s the bottom line.
Related: good post by Daniel about the nonexistent threat of fraud from absentee voting. Really, absentee and early voting should be nationalized into law, as should a national Voting Day holiday (we can drop the obscene paean to a genocidal madman to keep the total number of federal holidays the same).