Today on November 3rd, 2020, our nation’s official voting day, millions of Americans will find themselves at the polls – having endured long lines, a shortage of poll workers and polling places, low- tech challenges with ballot-marking devices, and likely, lots of misinformation aimed at discouraging their vote. But here’s what hasn’t changed and remains at the heart of our day – no matter who we are, or where we come from, we all have a stake in reimagining our democracy through our vote.
There is no higher version of casemaking than what is signified by our exercise of the right to vote! Voting is the key that opens doors for the future our children will inherit. If you have not already mailed in your ballot or participated in early voting, we invite you to wear a mask, join in, and bring along others to the celebration of our democracy by casting your vote on November 3rd, 2020. This is our moment!
We have heard many voting campaigns use the phrase – vote as if your life depends on it, because it does. Well, people across the nation are indeed voting as if their lives depend on it, as we are projected to have the highest voter turnout in decades! This is especially important during a year that witnessed so much unnecessary loss of life – from fatalities due to COVID-19 to racial injustice in our streets. Our votes can be the spark that ensures that the lives of Breonna Taylor, Marcellis Stinnette, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and too many others to name, have not been in vain, but accelerated our resolve to get after justice. So many people across this great nation have already offered time, tears, protests, and marches towards justice and systems change this year. Now, add your vote to that list! Your vote is one part of a larger effort to direct our democracy toward the things that matter!
As we think about what happens after the election - let’s change the conversation to be less focused on “chaos” to a new conversation that evaluates what we believe a successful electoral process can look like. How can we utilize our right to vote and the celebration of our democracy as a method that unites us? Let’s keep the momentum going. We can decide now how this election season and the remainder of 2020 will be recorded in history.
Let’s also acknowledge how far we come in this moment! Election season is a time filled with mixed emotions. For some, this season brings feelings of hope and excitement about the possibility of better days ahead. And for others, this season invokes feelings of fear and anxiety in anticipation of the outcome. Throughout our nation’s history, men and women during the Civil Rights and the Women’s Suffrage Movements like Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Congressman John Lewis, Sojourner Truth, & Mary Church Terrell dedicated their lives to justice and the expansion of voting rights. Of course, we recognize the historic policies and systems created to suppress the right to vote, despite the efforts of courageous men and women across this nation to expand the franchise. At any given moment, the cable news channels and our social media feeds, regularly debate the kinds of voting suppression happening today and the contemporary heroes that keep pushing for greater inclusion. Increasingly our community partners are teaching about it.
But there is another issue that impacts whether, and if, people vote – their ability to get the time they need to exercise their vote. Today, initiatives like A Day for Democracy, builds upon the sacrifice of these and other leaders through their celebration of democracy. This initiative expresses how vital it is for organizational leaders at all levels, to support the push for greater turnout in our elections. Specifically, they’ve asked employers across this nation to allow their employees the day off to vote. The initiative also provides resources on registering to vote, poll locations and accessibility questions, and encourages CEOs to open up the space for their employees to vote. We at TheCaseMade not only encourage this effort (and we have signed the pledge at A Day for Democracy) but we also support the idea of having a national holiday to vote. This national holiday would be: (1) a day to celebrate democracy, (2) a reminder to Americans of how far we have come in widening the franchise, and (3) additional motivation for us to overcome current day voter suppression in all of its many forms.
It is no doubt that 2020 has presented big adaptive challenges and significant hardships for many Americans, but if we listen carefully, 2020 has the power to teach us just how durable our resolve is to get our country to higher ground – justice, equity, inclusion, sustainability and more! For those of you still needing a bit of motivation and inspiration, there’s a lot of it to go around. Check out a few of our favorites!