Two of the most consequential actions voters appreciate on Election Day, after casting ballots, are the election machine verifying it has received their ballots and a precinct volunteer handing them a red-white-and-blue sticker inscribed with “I Voted.”
Some of those stickers include the word “Today,” and some include an American flag. Still others include a state’s name.
Fine, great. But beware.
The point is that standing in line and voting and getting that sticker is proof that, as an American citizen, you exercised your voting rights and performed your civic duty. It’s recognition that your personal judicious actions are worthy of recognition.
In other words, forget about the herd mentality.
Regardless of who you cast your ballot for or if the case be, against, nefarious figures and forces are afoot trying to take that unique right away from you.
Voting is not like grocery shopping. It’s complicated and it’s complex.
The Constitution takes the lead, followed by the federal government, the states, the counties, cities, towns and villages. And don’t forget, there are U.S. territories and the nation’s capital all having a say in your voting rights and all promising to protect your rights to vote and your votes.
But do they? Can you recite with absolute certainty what the laws and regulations mandate where you reside?
Be honest. Nope.
Fine, great. You — we — don’t have to know because, as citizens, we trust our American democratic instincts to warn us like an annoying fly if something is amiss.
Well, guess what? We’ve been warned.
In a Fox News poll conducted Oct. 3-6, the majority of Democrats and Republicans said they believe our democracy has reached the danger zone.
In response to the simple question “Do you believe our democracy is in danger in this year’s presidential election, or don’t you feel that way,” 78% of Democrats responded yes, and 62% of Republicans said the same.
Such large majorities, which came from 1,012 likely voters, speak volumes — and chief among those voices is the question why, then, politicians are hell-bent to push voters away from traditional polling places when Republicans and Democrats alike agree our long sustainable form of democracy is in danger.
That’s largely because voters historically and traditionally vote in person at a brick-and-mortar site (including houses of worship, schools and community centers) or submit absentee ballots by mail, the option our military and diplomats have long used. This year is different due to the COVID-19 bogeymen, otherwise known as — politicians.
Why do they want us to hand over our ballots to U.S. Postal Service mail sorters and carriers, or dump them into outdoor receptacles dubbed ballot boxes, or into the hands of third parties who can harvest them for fraudulent purposes?
Protect your voting rights, people, and protect your votes.
The Supreme Court has its eyes on the ball, having agreed last week to hear voting rights arguments regarding Arizona voting laws. To prevent voter fraud, one state law prohibits third parties from collecting and submitting ballots, while another would prohibit voters from voting outside of their precinct.
The Arizona laws are being challenged by Arizona Democrats, who argue that minorities are more likely to need help with their ballots. So much for Black lives that matter, eh?
For now, the Arizona laws are expected to stand pat through the Nov. 3 presidential election.
So exercise and protect your rights to vote while you can.
P.S. Be proud that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas can read and write.
• Deborah Simmons can be contacted at email@example.com.
Copyright © 2020 The Washington Times, LLC.