Oh, the joys of tight elections! They bring out the best in some of us, but then there’s the mayhem caused by bad actors…
Between August 2014 and May 2016, I voted in North Carolina. That was two years of sheer craziness because North Carolina is well known for being the purplest of purple states. The big names came to town, famous people called on behalf of someone running, candidates stuffed my mailbox full of how great they were and how awful their opponents were. It was basically a continuous circus. When I came back to Georgia, I thought to myself, “Self, I’m done with all that for a good ten years,” thinking that was when Georgia would be a real purple state. But no. Y’all had to go and get excited about elections and bring all that madness here. Thanks, Obama.
Just kidding. I actually love it, and I love that 2.1 million people have already voted ahead of Tuesday’s midterm election, more than double the early voting numbers for 2014. What?! Gold stars for all of you!
What I don’t love is the knavery that goes along with this last week period in hotly-contested races.
Let’s have a rundown of the mayhem happening now:
Hm. Remember the boy who cried wolf? Yeah, all I can think about is a statistical dead heat in Kemp’s race for governor, an office that has lost some high profile voter access battles in the past two weeks (signature match and, now, new citizens), and the knowledge that if they say it was the DPG on Saturday, those folks have no way to exonerate themselves by Tuesday. Also, this is the same office that claimed the “Obama Justice Department” had tried to hack the database previously. (It wasn’t true.) I absolutely believe someone tried to hack the system on Saturday, but given past events and current circumstances, color me skeptical that it was DPG. We’ll probably learn in a few weeks that it was a hack designed to look like it came from the DPG from either some kid in his or her parents’ basement trying to be funny or from a foreign power attempting to undermine the system. (Ahem…)
- On Thursday, the day of Oprah Winfrey’s visit to Georgia, some other out-of-staters sent a truly hateful robocall about her. I am glad I didn’t receive one of these calls, and I wish these (and other) white supremacists would locate those rocks they’d been living under for decades and return to them permanently.
- Former contributor Buzz Brockway has come across vandalized yard signs. I realize this is the garden variety shenanigan, not on the level of hacking the voter database and dialing up strangers to spew hate, but it’s still illegal, still childish, still mean, and still pointless.
Y’all, go knock on some doors. Go give a person a ride to the polls. Go make phone calls. Drive around and take coffee and hot chocolate to people waving signs. Wave back at them. With all five fingers. In other words, do something constructive to help your candidate win, whomever it is, and don’t lose yourself or your soul in the process.
I realize we’re in the midst of a tight election. (I really do, having lost my perfect voter status when I moved away, because now I get all the stuff. Yeah… it’s great…) But, please be kind to one another – including candidates you don’t like – and if you can’t do it without motivation, pretend like your grandmama is following you around with a switch at the ready for the next 72 hours. Trust me, if that image doesn’t help you, nothing will. This political climate is awful. Let’s be the ones to make it a little better between now and Tuesday night.