Floridians, We must demand more!
Amidst the celebration that the election is finally over (was that the longest campaign ever, or was it just me?) and that the candidate that I hoped would win, won I'm left with a sort of bitter sweetness. Sure there are lots of things to celebrate with four states passing marriage equality laws, record breaking youth-voter turnout, and the popular vote and electoral vote both standing on the side of good, but what about those things that didn't go so well.
Being a Floridian through and through is usually something I like to brag about. I mean nearly every day of the year here is 80+ degrees and we have warm ocean waters surrounding us on three sides... But then an election comes around and I am thrown into shame. Why is it that we can't seem to get our shit together? We've only been a state (ie. holding elections here), oh for the last hundred and sixty-seven years.
And it is not just the epic lines that voters were forced to wait in on election day and through-out early voting. No, the voter suppression didn't just start there. In fact it began much earlier when laws were passed to make 3rd-party voter registration nearly impossible. And when thousands of eligible voters were tossed off the registrar because they didn't have "proper identification" through the DMV. Or what about when the early voting period was cut in half? Let's not forget who is suppressed by these laws and regulations. The young, the old, the working class, minorities, and single mothers. The same folks who were most affected by the disgustingly long lines at the polling places. Who can afford to miss hours and hours of work or stand in line all night and make it through the work-load the next day.
I do not like it when I feel ashamed of my home state and I do not like it when people are not allowed access to the democratic process. We need to demand more from our state, much, much more. It should be easy to get registered and cast your vote. Results should be provided in a timely manner. We should not allow a process to continue that marginalizes the voices of the already marginalized. Maybe this time our electoral votes weren't needed to secure the win, but I for one do not want to be still counting votes, while the rest of our country moves forward with out us.