I'm sure the news is going to be FILLED with election results all day today. I heard that Kentucky went blue - that's exciting! My former city of Knoxville is also celebrating, because for the first time in history their local government is comprised of mostly women. It's a perspective and leadership that Knoxville desperately needs - I'm going to keep an eye on what happens down there.
In my neck of the woods, the big vote was trash - LITERALLY! The city of Saint Paul is in a unique situation, in which trash collection is private. If you want your trashed picked up, you have to pay for it privately. While many think that this is great, others cite the many reasons why there should be a municipal trash service. This all came to a head on election day, when the citizens of Saint Paul were charged with deciding on whether or not this should continue.
I don't typically pay much attention to campaign signs, but you couldn't help but to pay attention when it came to this vote. Walking down the street, you'd see signs that simply read "Vote Yes" or "Vote No". The signs in my neighborhood all said, "Vote No", because rich people don't need to worry about the needs of the less fortunate, right?
As I walked up to my polling station (which is very conveniently, about a 60 second walk from my apartment building), I noticed how there were no lines, no waiting, and a very welcome and open environment that made voting seem really easy. I went in the middle of the day, so I'm sure it got crowded later on, but still - it was all so easy and so convenient.
After I left, I couldn't help but to think about other neighborhoods and communities. Is voting as easy there as it is for me? Is there suppression at play in other parts of town? I'm used to being asked for an ID, but the attendants only asked for my name at the desk. Is this the reality for voters in say, East Saint Paul?
I don't really have a point to make, other than this: As you prepare to vote for president next year, keep ALL communities in mind, and not just yours. I think I'm going to take the day off to make sure people who live in other parts of my city have the opportunity to vote. It's SUPER easy where I live, but maybe that's not the reality for everyone. It's something that I think everyone should be thinking about as we approach what I think is the most important vote of my generation.
By the way, I voted for a municipal trash service - how dare the millionaires that live along Summit Avenue, and in the other mansions that dot my neighborhood, think only about themselves.