It took two attempts.
A combined hour and forty-five minute wait.
Two different polling locations.
Waiting in the cold.
Getting out today in the rain.
But it's done. I've voted. And thankfully I didn't have to wait as long as I've heard some of my colleagues did. Indianapolis had sites with 8 hour waits. For early voting.
And still they waited.
This year is truly unprecedented. I firmly believe this election is the most important one of my lifetime. It will have more impact on the trajectory of our nation than any in recent history. That is why it is vital that you vote.
Make a plan to vote - Determine what form of voting works best for you. Should you use a mail in absentee ballot that you place in a ballot box. Should you vote early at an early voting polling location. Should you vote on Election Day. Make a plan that will be best for you and resolve to see it through. Be warned that each has their potential pitfalls. Lines on Election Day could greatly exceed even what we are seeing in early voting. Due to recent maneuvering by the Supreme Court, I cannot recommend mail in ballots in this period leading up to Election Day unless you put it in an official ballot box. If you place your mail in ballot in the mail at this time, it is likely it will not be counted (despite our history of doing so in the past). If you plan to place your ballot in an official ballot box and are in Texas, be aware that thanks to recent moves by the government, there may only be one in your entire county. If you plan to vote early, be sure you know the location of your ballot box or the location and hours of early voting locations. There are six in our county with a variety of open hours, allowing everyone to find the most convenient voting location for their situation.
Vote Early - With the record voter turnout that we are already seeing, it is my recommendation to vote early if at all possible. To ensure your vote is cast, to hopefully lessen your wait, to help make this an election that could be affirmed on election night, it benefits us all to vote early.
Be Informed - There are so many tools at our disposal to get informed regarding the issues on our ballots that it is inexcusable not to do so. Vote411 (http://www.vote411.org), Ballotpedia (http://ballotpedia.org/Sample_Ballot_Lookup), Ballot Ready (http://www.ballotready.org), and HeadCount (http://www.headcount.org/your-ballot) are just a few. Many states even have their own My Ballot sites. We live in an age of a wealth of information at our finger tips. Please take advantage of it to learn what the candidates stand for, where you truly align (and not just the party you've always been affiliated with), and vote accordingly.
VOTE - The most important thing is just to vote. Even if you make no plan and just show up on Election Day, vote. Your voice matters, your vote counts. Make it be heard.