Opinion | Surprise, Surprise, Voting Works (Well Almost)

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In last night’s midterm results, deep red states remained blood red, and gerrymandered Democratic districts in Florida and New York turned purple or outright red, like  Miami-Dade County in Florida. Now that the red wave has been dashed against the shore, I must write another of the millions of rehashes that will line your birdcage; or do I? Some races will change over the next few days due to not yet counted mail-ins, same-day, and contested ballots. Watch for Democratic Senator Mark Kelly’s lead in Arizona to change. Democratic Senator Catherine Cortez Masto will give Democrats some agita in Nevada as her race ebbs and flows over Republican challenger Adam Laxalt. We all may be watching Georgia again in December, biting our nails watching another runoff involving Senator Raphael Warnock, this time against Herschel Walker. I pride myself on being a non-gun-jumper, so I will not declare victory, loss, or a stalemate.

[As a side note, I often hear my Democratic brethren complain that Liberals do not fight like Conservatives. The Democratic National Committee recognized the lack of “candidate quality” identified by Mitch McConnell of Republican candidates and fought a little dirty like Conservatives.]

At this point, nail-biting, head-scratching, and analysis will leave you itchy, bald, and with a headache. The good news for me was observations of our teetering democracy at work. A new Democratic bench emerged; Pennsylvania Governor-elect Josh Shapiro and Maryland Governor-elect Wes Moore. One of my favorite cousins, who has been more like a sister to me, had serious surgery less than four weeks ago but assumed her work as a poll worker. She felt compelled to serve, even in the face of threats to her health and person. Except for presidential races, since living in Pennsylvania, I arrived at my polling station—to a line, much to my wonderful surprise. The surprise was that I live in a very safe Democratic district which often leads to complacency. People came out to save our democracy.

I saw a few new poll workers and missed saying hello to some of the missing familiar faces who would greet me with a smile and ask my name to look me up in the polling book.

Most of the poll workers in my district are aging and dedicated. I have watched some grow older with me in the seventeen years I have lived here. I checked on my family members, encouraging or congratulating them for voting. One of the things I have learned in my years of knocking on doors, making phone calls, stuffing envelopes, and in recent years monitoring text messages, is that once the work is done, go home, pour a drink, or make a cup of tea and relax until morning. Watching MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki scurry around in rolled-up shirtsleeves and chinos, drowning in a sea of post-it notes, provides hours of entertainment. When he starts to sweat while fielding the panel’s shouting questions and interruptions, you begin to feel sorry for him, and the joy stops.

I found a brilliantly produced documentary last night on the life of Willie Mays, Say Hey, Willie Mays. I remembered my youth, lamented not seeing him on the field any longer and enjoyed the respite—2024 batter up.

Continue to Vote for Change

  • November 9, 2022