Get Out and Vote (If You Can)

Acts of voting suppression are infuriating—and reminiscent of a different era in American history.

Throughout the evening on Monday, MSNBC reported on the voting suppression efforts occurring today and that have occurred over the past several weeks in Ohio and Florida. The infuriating reality is that some Americans are intent on denying the right to vote to other Americans. Doing so tramples on the meaning of our Constitution, and it’s difficult to express this injustice with calm and professionalism. When a political party is complicit in that effort, it’s even more unconscionable.

Both sets of my grandparents were from North Carolina, Florida, and Virginia. I grew up hearing stories about efforts throughout the South to deny the vote to African Americans. And they spoke often of their friends, neighbors, and other family who were beaten, fired from their jobs, or killed because they tried to register to vote. Suppressing the vote is unfair play. Win it or lose it—but do so fairly, with dignity and honesty.

Here in Massachusetts, 200 legislators are up for election. While Massachusetts is not a Swing State, the nation’s eyes are watching us closely after one of the most expensive and highly contested U.S. Senate campaigns. Residents are being put to the test to choose on two controversial ballot questions. Each and every voter should be proud of their choice … and their decision to get out and vote.

While this plea comes at the eleventh hour, if you haven’t done so already, take the time to let your voice be heard and cast your vote. Let’s all hope that this most important exercise in democracy taking place today happens in peace, and civility, and that everyone’s rights as a citizen are upheld.

That I even have such a wish more than 50 years later feels like we’re all still walking in place.