Early Voting By The Numbers
Early voting started yesterday with lines wrapped around precincts and waits up to eight hours. Whether you're voting to maintain the status quo or make change, expect record turnouts in Georgia.
John Lewis called voting "the most powerful non-violent tool we have in a democracy." For me, it's both powerful and empowering. I absolutely love voting.
Nine million Americans have already voted. In Georgia alone, 262,000 of the 1.5 million who requested absentee ballots have cast them. With three weeks to exercise your right -- either via early voting or in-person -- if you don't vote, you're a part of the problem, not the solution.
Years ago, when I voted in Inman Park I would tie my little Jack Russell, Wylie up outside. He would bark his brains out and I would knowingly roll my eyes at the other voters in line about the jerk who left their dog outside (who me?). Sometimes I would pick my friend Susan Bridges up from her gallery White Space and walk to our precinct and talk about what our vote could mean. Then when I married my husband Jeff, we would early vote at Fulton County's "Taj Majal" and have breakfast at Thumb's Up Diner before we went to work.
It's not going to be easy; there will be lines. And while election officials are adhering to stringent safety precautions, you're going to be in a crowd. But every vote matters. My 80-year-old mother told me months ago that if she didn't receive her absentee ballot from Florida, she would drive from her mountain cabin in North Carolina where she's been living to Miami to vote. Go mom!
For me, voting is kind of like signing the national anthem in a stadium full of fans with one shared voice. No matter if it's with friends, neighbors, my husband or dog, voting makes me feel like I'm a part of something greater than myself, which is something I desperately need right now.
COVID fatigue has definitely set in, and I've felt overwhelmed by a sense of helplessness that I've had to let so much go. But I will not throw away my shot. I'm voting and I hope you will too.