I write to you as our nation is in the midst of chaos on many levels — a deadly pandemic that has claimed 213,000 souls, racial and social division, millions still unemployed, businesses demolished, livelihoods in jeopardy and nearly one quarter of Americans at risk of losing their homes. And, we haven’t even reached the end of the hurricane and fire seasons. It is easy to be afraid in these troubled times.
What can we do to stem the tide of panic and fear? Vote! What can we do to firmly declare that we want to change the current direction of our lives, our district, our state, and our country? Vote!
Many of us do not trust the upcoming election. The dangerous propaganda suggesting voter fraud has been swirling, creating fear that, more than ever, our votes will not count. But, numerous studies say otherwise— pegging mail-in voting with 0.0025% incidence of fraud, and in-person voting having an incidence so low it is not considered statistically. But, we are fortunate to live in one of the most magnificent states in our union; and, true to form, Virginia is doing a stellar job with the voting process, offering us every opportunity to make our voices heard. There are numerous ways to vote — easily, smoothly, and safely. Early voting began on Sept. 18.
I decided that, in order to put the least amount of pressure on the overall system, I would vote in-person early. However, I had already requested a mail-in ballot, since I voted by mail in the June Primary. Let me tell you, Virginia has it down. I tracked my mailed ballot online, and discovered the day that it was sent. (www.elections.virginia.gov/voterinformation.) The ballot arrived a couple of days later. No problem. I didn’t open the envelope (that’s an important safeguard). If you’ve requested a mail-in ballot, you need to bring the whole ballot with you.
Our registrar’s office is to be congratulated. I live in Albemarle County, so the County Office Building on 5th Street Extended is the early voting location. Beginning with the orderly direction and clear information offered in the parking lot, the whole process was super efficient and easy, and, most importantly, safe. Inside the building, everyone is masked and safely distanced. There is plenty of hand sanitizer, and even clean pens.
So, my humble advice, vote! Vote for the health of you and your family; vote for the health of your community; and, yes, vote for the health of the United States of America. It’s our democracy and we keep it healthy by voting.
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