Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Down Ballot Races Matter

Image result for Harris County Texas November 2016 sample ballot
We have two more days of early voting left in the Lone Star State and six more until Election Day itself next Tuesday.  One of the things that makes me shake my head when I hear it is when people try to justify sitting out an election.  

They spout off rhetoric laced with comments about their 'principles won't allow them to participate in this 'corrupt system' or vote for 'the lesser of two evils' , then once the election cycle is over they sat out are dismayed with the results and spend the next two to four years complaining ad nauseum about it.

Well, you folks who sit out elections for specious reasons are part of the problem with our political system so have several seats.   Your decision to not participate allows the political status quo you deplore to continue.

Sitting out an election is not an option, especially if you are part of a marginalized group.   Sitting out elections hurts the liberal progressive candidates you say you wish to get elected to shake up the system you deplore and is basically a vote for the status quo system you hate.

While voting isn't going to solve the systemic problems marginalized communities face overnight, it is still the most important and vital tool for social and political change because it determines who the politicians will be that implement the policies and laws you need to change the system and move it in the direction of working to solve the systemic problems your group faces.

Why do you think the Republican Party has spent millions on voter suppression efforts and passing blatantly unconstitutional voter suppression laws?   Chief Justice John Roberts made his money in conservative world before being elevated to the SCOTUS as a lawyer working for decades to kill the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

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The Republicans and conservative movement have bragged about suppressing Black and Latinx voter turnout, and you self-suppress yourself out of an election cycle.  Every time you do so, a Republican says thank you for doing so.

Elections matter because not only is it the most powerful tool to enact social and political change, it is because down ballot races matter. We all know about the tops of tickets and their importance in presidents, governors, mayors and your state supreme courts, but the down ballot offices matter as well..  

For example the secretary of state controls the administration of election law and voting in your state. In Texas, the county clerk has that same function but has the power to determine not only when you can early vote, but how many machines go to your particular precinct or early voting site..

We know about the Texas Supreme Court, but district court judges are the ones you'll encounter when you step into their chambers to get married, do a nae change  and other issues.  What do you think will be the outcome of your name change petition if the judge deciding on it not only has an (R) behind their name, but is drinking the GOP Red hate on trans people Kool Aid?

The state board of education matters.  County commissioners court matters. Judicial benches matter,  DA's matter.  County sheriffs matter.

There are many dedicated people who are running for those down ballot offices below the main event president race who want and deserve your vote.  It's why you not only need to getting off the couch and voting either in the last two days of early voting here in Texas, on November 8 and in every election cycle from now on until you pass away, you need to be doing so as an informed voter.

Down ballot races matter.   You have until November 8 to reconsider sitting out this election and participate in it, or don't and zip your lips about complaining about the results of this 2016 election cycle


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