Go vote

I am still smiling because of the measures that were taken to assure that 161 million eligible American citizens could vote in the 2020 presidential election. We shouldn’t stop there because we are finally addressing voter apathy. We need to make it easier to vote, not harder. Use the all-of- the- above methods to get people to the polls. Republicans favor the archaic one citizen, one vote, one day, one place system because they know studies show that the more people vote; it lessens their chance of winning.

I am not worried about voter fraud because two cybersecurity committees within the federal Department of Homeland Security called the Nov. 3 presidential election “the most secure in American history.” Even the president’s consigliere, Attorney General Bill Barr, said his FBI didn’t find any widescale fraud. Then there are the 50 Secretaries of State who certified their state elections.

I’m all about the evidence but all I get from Republicans is their canned response “election integrity.”

I have been voting absentee for ten years without showing my ID and I am trying to convince my fellow seniors to do the same. It’s not about the ID, it’s about the convenience of filling it out on your kitchen table, signing it, and mailing it. I can verify my ballot on the VoteAmerica Texas ballot tracker. Republicans used to be heavy users of the absentee ballot but Trump has convinced them it’s ripe with voter fraud.

It all starts at the local level so I recently watched the city council and mayoral debates on Facebook. I learned a lot but I’m disappointed every time a local race gets nationalized. For example, one candidate said if he was elected, he would not defund the police. Huh? Who is even suggesting that? One question was about the current “bailouts.” That’s a federal and law enforcement issue unless you think one of the mayoral candidates is going to somehow intervene.

My fellow Democrats are disappointed with the filibuster, Joe Manchin, and the stalled legislation. And that’s just on the national front, Texas is beyond repair. In fact, I can’t repeat what they are saying in this blog because it is published in our online family newspaper.

I share their frustration but I point out that it is mainly our fault but the remedy is right in front of us. In the past, we did not vote. We have to vote like our democracy depends on it and we are but it usually takes three consecutive cycles before we start to see results. We won the 2018 mid-terms, the presidency (but lost the down-ballot) but we have to maintain what we have and flip 11 of the 20 Senate seats that up for grab in 2022. We can’t allow Sinema and Manchin to sit in the catbird’s seat dictating policy. Better yet, primary Sinema.

Joe Manchin is the only Democrat in deep-red West Virginia who could gain a single vote. We certainly don’t want him to switch parties and make Mitch McConnell the Senate Leader. I am in agreement with James Carville, when President Biden comes back from his 8-day foreign trip, the president, Chuck Schumer and Joe Manchin will sit down to discuss the bottlenecks. Let it play out, do all you can to form a bipartisan bill but if all else fails, do what needs to be done.

Although I like the “We the People Voting Rights Act of 202” because it has the  vote-by-mail for all, automatic registration, paper ballots, etc., I would forgo it for now and bring the John Lewis Voting Rights Act up for a vote. Get the current Republicans on the record and it stands a better chance of passing.

The John Lewis Act would restore several provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. It would stop gerrymandering and it would prevent future laws and procedures from taking place without the justice department's preclearance.

The Senate may be 50/50 but the Democratic half represents 41,549,808 more people than the Republican half.

Make it as easy as possible for citizens to vote and if your side wins, I’ll reexamine my thoughts to see why I am not with the majority. A 75% turnout does a lot more convincing than a 45% turnout. If your policies are that great, you should want as many citizens as possible to cast their legal vote.  

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Michael Gomez is a retired, opinionated left-of-center, political junkie who likes to discuss issues, as opposed to ideology.

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Michael Gomez writes a politics blog on VictoriaAdvocate.com.

(1) comment

Rick Dockery

Police are funded on a local level.

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