terça-feira, 27 de outubro de 2020

Version 2.176

I voted Mr. Trump out today. There was hardly anyone in line, perhaps because this was a new venue that is not usually open for early voting. It is a Baptist church. Most of the people that I saw were older folks, including the lady that checked my passport. I always take my passport in case they question my citizenship, but most Americans in Memphis do not vote with a passport and sometimes they don't even know what one looks like. Anyway, I showed the lady my passport, she looked at it funny, typed in a number into an iPad -- did I mention that this was an older woman, maybe in her 70s or older? -- and then asked me for my voter registration card.

Now, the voter registration card is not required to vote, but of course I had mine: I always take mine. And sometimes I even take a utility bill to confirm my address, in case anyone questions it. It's OK, you may think I am crazy, but voting is that important to me. Of course, I don't vote in Portugal. The Portuguese government is not really interested in making it easy for me to vote. Kind of like the Trump administration does with minorities, but I digress.

The point is that I, along with over 64 million people, as of Monday evening, October 26, 2020, have voted. This is more than the early voting that took place by election day in 2016 and we still have 8 more days to go until the polls close. Granted that fewer people will likely vote on election day, but I have seen estimates that maybe 100 million people will vote early this election and overall turnout could be of 150 to 160 million. In 2016, the total number of votes was less than 139 million. It could be a massive turnout.

I cannot really express how amazing it is to live in a place where people vote en masse, when they feel the fate of the nation is at stake. Everyone can make a difference and even homeless people are voting: "My vote counts, you know what I'm saying? I ain't ever voted. This will be my first time to vote.", said a homeless man interviewed on NPR. Maybe that is the silver lining on this massive cloud that is this deadly pandemic.

For the last four years, Mitch McConnell, the leader of the Senate majority, has been justifying the GOP actions by saying that their majority is a mandate from the electorate to push the conservative agenda. We will see how the people will mandate next, but if he loses, he can always drown in sorrows in Kentucky bourbon. After all, America is the land of opportunity and we would not want this one to go to waste.

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