Wednesday, October 29, 2008
There are lessons for all of us this Election.There has been alot that has happened in the past 8 years, much has changed within us and around us. This Election is more important than ever for so many people.There are no Second Chances,this is no time for the comfort and solace of apathy, because there is too much at stake and too much damage. This is our last chance to repair what has happened and mediate any of the Damage. There can be no Healing until this Election is resolved with Honesty, and Justly.
Much has changed in the 8 years since the First Bush Election. I was overwhelmed with the damage at an odd moment last week, as I cleaned a closet and stumbled across a dusty old London Fog Rain Coat. It was an odd moment filled with chilling memories and deep thought. I was filled with the memories of my son, a Sick Chicken, my Bassatt, and Voting. Eight years ago it was the coat I wore to vote for Gore, in the pocket there was still a crumpled "I Voted Sticker". I stood in the rain for hours with my friends and neighbors from little Northwest Neighborhood and waited to Vote, with my son by my side. My Husband stood ahead of me in the line about 100 people between us. Another neighbor ordered Pizza for the line after we had been there for about an hour. We all laughed at our creativity to have pizza delivered.
It was a wonderful Northwest Neighborhood full of college students and working people, teachers and nurses, and young lawyers, and community organizers. Thinkers and Dreamers and wonderful neighbors. In the years to come I would learn that only one of their Votes was counted that fateful night......Only One. ( and it was not mine). Yes, I would learn about Caging.
That night I walked home with my son, and he sat out on the porch with our Bassatt Hound Abby and sat by the cage of our Wounded Chicken we were nursing. He sat and told Henrietta all about Voting and how he had voted with me in Every Election. He was 9 years old, to this day he claims he "remembers" Voting for Clinton. She sat with her bandaged head and looked at him with her bright beady eyes full of trust and love. I sat on the front porch bench and listened to him explain about Voting and the Constitution. I realized that he understood and appreciated the process. That Damp Rainy Night as it started to rain, I was filled with pride as my son taught a Chicken about The Value of Voting. As we went inside he covered her cage with the raincoat, and Abby licked her injured head in a Good Night Gesture. And we all went inside to drink Hot Coco To celebrate The Vote. And by Morning ......all those "Lessons" would be thrown to the Wind.
By 2004 my son and I would living many miles away, and the night of the Vote would be long past. But we would learn about Caged Voting. In California I had trouble registering as my previous Vote of 2004 could not be located, so I was forwarded to an Investigation by the Justice Department Rep in a Senator's Office, and ACLU and Human Rights Organization. I learned in June 2004, that my Vote like most of my nieghborhood had vanished, the Only Vote found from that fateful night of 2000, was that of Mr.Enigma. The Investigator asked me if I knew the other Voter of my street, and I said yes, but that was the only Vote she could find that was registered or counted. I have written before about how disgusted and stunned I was. My son said, "well, atleast we know now that they are problems, and you reported it, so it can't happen again."
So I voted again in a new place and my son went with me. And I have written before, that I again have not been able to verify That Vote either. Something so simple has now become Something that haunts me, worries me. Yet now I am no longer alone with this fear. We now know that in both Elections Thousands of People were Discounted and rendered Invisible.There are books and studies about people being disenfranchised, it is no longer a silent hidden problem.
This year there is a difference. Senator Obama's Campaign has worked hard to improve Voter Rights and address problems for Voters. I had read this on his site and even heard him speak about it. And I was impressed, and my son was moved by it. Said "See , this is someone that takes this seriously." I nodded and agreed, and offered my own reassurance. But I still was only half hearted. Well, low and behold My Registration ran into Problems again. The First week in October, I learned that the State site had me registered and the County site did not. I assumed that my Divorce and Name Changes and 2 Moves had caused problems ( as it had taken the Social Security Administration under Homeland Security over 20 Monthes to "correct" my records.)
I emailed the Obama Campaign and while driving to the Election Center, A rep from the Campaign called me back and asked for details of my situation and said that they knew there were problems in Ohio and if I had any problems to call them back and they would send a Lawyer to the Election Center. This was the first time in 8 years ANYONE had offered Help or acknowledges that this Problem Needs Fixing, that it Matters. I thanked him, and told him I felt Invisible Again. He reassured me that Obama has lawyers and Voting Advocates ready , that No One should experience that Again. No One. No One should feel Alone and Invisible.
I drove to the Election Center and fixed the problems with my registration, after parking a mile away and walking to the Center. I watched ACORN helping people register outside at a table, helping people fill out the Form and explaining What they needed to bring with them to Vote. ( and now weeks later the GOP has targeted this Advocacy Group as something Evil and Illegal, yet that is far from the Truth).
As I stood and stroked the battered old raincoat in the Closet I realized how naive I was, and that in the years to come I would learn so much, about Caged Voting and people being disenfranchised, and how such a Moment could alter the History and Lives of Millions...I remembered watching my 9 year old son and how he sat on the Porch that Damp Night in November 2000 explaining to a Chicken about Voting. He told Henrietta that Voting Required people to be Brave, not a Chicken, and he laughed. He told her how Voting Brings Changes in Times of Trouble, but that it is a Chance for Each and Every Citizen to have a Voice. But he also told her how through the ages people had Fought for this Right, and that it is a Right worth Fighting for. That Night he asked " Is it a Right Worth Fighting For. " I had said Yes at the time. But now as he is almost a man, I know now more than ever, that Right is Worth Protecting and Fighting for, and never taking for granted.Lives depend on Our Votes.
Beautiful Video by Bet Williams about Voting for our Children....
Updates sent by others about Voting:
Click the title to read article that Dusty found....And Read more about the Voter Fraud Myth that the Repugs have been trying to perpetrate...