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Go Vote Tomorrow
Tomorrow is Voting day for many, it's just as important as a presidential election.
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Tomorrow is November 7th, 2023, and that means it is time for us to get off our butts and get to the polls collectively to vote. This is entirely a local and state election off-year, but the impacts of this election could still have effects on the Presidential Election next fall. As we saw with the many ways the attempted coup during the 2020 election failed, they all failed due in part to local government employees being unwilling to go along with the plan.
Of the 2023 Off-Year Election, There are currently three house representatives on the ballot in Virginia, Rhode Island, and Utah. Kentucky, Louisiana, and Mississippi all have state-level elections for various positions ranging from Governor to State Supreme Court. This is also an election for a number of towns and counties across America for local positions in each town. These town roles may seem small and unimportant, but as we continue to see them put to the test, they hold up the fabric of our democracy in crucial ways.
It’s contrived and alarmist, I am aware. But it is incredibly important that we insist on consistency when it comes to voting at every opportunity we are given. Local, National, it doesn't matter. To quote the villain himself, Mitch McConnell, “Elections have consequences”. He is entirely correct here; your impact on local government is incredibly important, not just now but for the rest of our lives.
You’re local government officials, from town clerk to the state election official, are either directly elected by popular vote or elected via nomination from your governor or state legislature. These roles are incredibly important in the security of our election, as you have already seen play out. Voting for someone who has openly supported “the big lie” from former President Donald Trump opens us up to yet another repeat of 2020, but this time, I am pretty sure if we don’t have our pieces in order, it will succeed. Our current Speaker of the House, Mike Johnson, is a religious extremist who has gone on record to condemn homosexuality, even pushing to criminalize gay sex, and was one of the originating authors of the plan to invalidate the electoral college votes of several key states in an effort to hand the 2020 election over to Trump.
If you still don’t believe me that these are important, let’s look at a recent example of how non-presidential elections have an impact on your daily life via a look at the current goings on in a small town.
Littleton, NH, Town Councilwoman Carrie Gendreau
Littleton is a small town in northern NH, often cited as one of “America’s best small towns.” This idyllic town has recently been in the news cycle because the local town council has proposed a ban on all public art displays, specifically murals depicting anything considered immoral by a religious extremist, Carrie Gendreau. Carrie and her fellow majority-elected town council members lean conservative. The community, on the other hand, is an even split “purple” town, 1507 votes for Trump and 1557 votes for Biden in the 2020 General Election. This has led to the community butting heads with local officials over these types of policy disputes.
Carrie, in particular, has been the most vocal, telling the Boston Globe that she believes homosexuality to be “an abomination.” She is also a devout follower of the doomsday prophet Jonathan Cahn. A man who claims to see demonic imagery in everything from rainbows to even disembodied eyeballs and is a devout believer in Donald Trump. So it begs the question of how much her views on the topic of public art are fueled more fervently by her hatred of the queer community at large.
The local community has been vocal in support of the public art displays and has used this as an opportunity to show support for their fellow community members. Signs popping up all over town with slogans like “Everyone is welcome here.”
Town Manager Jim Gleason has been in the crossfire of this incendiary town culture clash as well. Jim received a truly reprehensible comment from a resident when that person came to him begging him to cancel the upcoming theatre production of La Cage Aux Folles. When he explained to her that he couldn’t, there were laws guiding freedom of speech and the constitutional protections of the First Amendment. Telling her she was free to respond by protesting; she could refuse to buy a ticket, he said, or even stand outside the theatre and urge people not to enter. Clearly not getting the response she wanted, she turned around on her way out of the office and said, "I hope your son is happy in hell with the devil, where he belongs." Jim’s son Patrick, an openly gay man, passed away seven years ago due to cancer. That is truly heartless behavior.
Skip ahead in the video below to 1:30:00 and hear Jim speak about his son, Patrick, and his experience with a resident.
If you live in Littleton, it currently does not have a ballot for 2023, and no positions are currently up for reelection this cycle.
If you aren’t sure if an election is happening in your community, try checking vote.org. Most places allow for same-day registrations if you aren’t already registered. If voting didn’t matter then why do they try so hard to stop it.