We interrupt your regularly scheduled Monday "Detroit's Unique Neighborhoods" post to remind everyone about the importance to Detroit of voting tomorrow, November 4 2008. This election concludes the longest and most costly Presidential campaign season in American history. More people have registered to vote (especially since January of this year), and more people are expected to vote than ever.
Hopefully, voters in Detroit will greatly surpass the usually pitiful 20% voting rate. The voting rate should be 100%: people have fought and died to ensure the right to vote for all. If you do not vote, you have no right to complain if things aren't going the way you would like them to go.
Voting Queue in South Africa, 1990
For tomorrow's election, we already know that the lines will be long, as in l-o-o-o-o-o-o-ong! The weather, however, is expected to be unseasonably warm and sunny. It would be great to bring with you, along with your picture ID, lawn chairs, bottled water, an umbrella (for the sun!), something to read or a crossword puzzle, some snacks (especially if you're diabetic), your iPod, etc.; and most of all, bring patience and as many people as you can fit in your car! If you don't have to work, or can go in late, that is great. If not, just make sure you're in line by 8 p.m. Do not wear any political attire and do not take pictures or videos near the polling place. Put your "O" stuff back on further down the street after you vote, and then take your pictures for posterity!
There is early voting TODAY at the City Clerk's office on West Grand Boulevard until 6 p.m. You can check here to find out your voting location, if necessary.
The ballot will also be long; President, Vice-President, U.S. Senate, U.S. Congress (District 13 or 14 in Detroit), Michigan Legislature, Judges for various courts, State Board of Education, Regents for Michigan State and the University of Michigan, Board of Governors for Wayne State University, Wayne County Sheriff, Prosecutor, and Treasurer, and two Statewide Proposals! Whew!
No matter what the "polls" say, the only poll that counts is the one with your vote in it! If a little voice tries to tell you that you're too tired, too stressed, or too busy to vote, remember that you're not just voting for yourself. You are also vicariously voting for all of the civil rights workers, all of the nameless people who fought and died, all of the people who were beaten, burned, and lynched, all of the unnamed ancestors who died in the Middle Passage, everyone whose homes and/or churches were burned down, the four little girls who died in Birmingham, all of your ancestors who picked cotton and cleaned other people's homes and worked three jobs so that you could have a better life.
It's time for a change, and your vote will give us
the change we need.