NOV 6, 2012 – If there was any moment JTMP exists for, it is today…Election Day, and the magic of our precious democracy in action where it does NOT come down to Super PAC money, but it comes down to an American citizen walking into a booth and exercising their right to vote. JTMP spends 2 years between election cycles registering voters, urging young people to get informed and involved, and raising awareness on progressive issues we think are important and of course cool, music-activist news. Now it all comes down to this. We urge ALL Americans, from any political persuasion, and if you live in a "swing state" or not, to Get Out The Vote today and exercise your precious right and civic duty that many people have struggled and even died for you to have. Please, grab a friend or family member, and head out to the polls today and VOTE. Bring a book, snacks and water, and even a chair if need be if the lines are long. Get In Line and Stay in Line. If you are in a voting line by the closing time, they must let you vote.
Don't be discouraged if you don't live in a "swing state", because local elections matter. Your state Governor is very important, because many times they appoint the state secretary (think Katherine Harris) who controls the state's elections. The state Governor in many states appoint the state supreme court justices. Your state representatives, delegate and state senators are also very important, for they pass state laws that affect you directly, remember the "Stand Your Ground" and voter suppression bills being passed in many states. Your city council member affects if the park across your street gets cleaned up and fixed up, and if your schools are functioning well. Also, the US House of Representatives and the US Senate at the federal level are very, very important…and may dictate on how effective the President can implement his policy (think obstructionism). The Senate is involved with appointing US Supreme Court Justices. Every vote is important, and every vote should be exercised and counted no matter where you live.
To start your day, and get more information on how to vote, information on issues and candidates, and where and how to vote, JTMP recommends you start at the Project Vote Smart Website, and then visit the US government election website to find your state's board of election website. In some places, like DC, you can register to vote and vote the same day. If your address has changed and you forgot to update your address, you can vote on a "special ballot" in some cases. Bring your lease, deed, IDs, utility bills, paycheck stub, bank statement, or something with your name and address on it, but don't be intimidated and make sure you vote. If you have tried everything and they aren't permitting you to vote, ask to vote provisionally or with a special ballot, and if your information checks out your vote will be counted later.
I will end with this: I call for increased funding for our elections. Including massive funding for 1,000s of "election centers" built in cities across our nation to handle the long lines and the movement to expand early voting. We should be making the process of voting EASIER (and quicker!), not harder.