Well, Monkeypox is the latest distraction, right after COVID. As serious as both of these are in the pandemic arena, they both can be distractions from many of the everyday issues so many of us contend with like food, housing, employment, and health care. But in the midst of all these, let us not forget that how we vote has much to do with the quality of life we experience in all the areas mentioned here and many more.
We are only about 90 days away from the midterm elections in this nation which take place the first Tuesday in November. It is no accident that we are not seeing much, if any, local media discussion other than our own. Unfortunately, we don’t have many choices. While the Democrats under President Biden have not delivered on Voting Rights, The George Floyd Act, or John Lewis; Biden and the Democratic control of both the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate remain better alternatives than the Republican Trump-supporting candidates running for office in just about all states.
We must start a voter registration drive right here where we live. This effort must become as important to us as putting food on the table and a roof over our heads. Let us not forget what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said in his famous “Give Us The Ballot” speech on May 17, 1957:
"Give us the ballot, and we will no longer have to worry the federal government about our basic rights;
Give us the ballot, and we will transform the salient misdeeds of bloodthirsty mobs into the calculated good deeds of orderly citizens;
Give us the ballot and we will fill our legislative halls with men of goodwill and send to the sacred halls of Congress men who will not sign a “Southern Manifesto” because of their devotion to a manifesto of justice;
Give us the ballot and we will place judges on the benches of the South who will do justly and love mercy, and we will place at the head of southern states governors who will have felt not only the tang of the human, but the glow of the divine ....”
Well, we have been given the ballot for more than 50 years and many of us appear to have forgotten what price we paid for the right to vote; a right that many are seeking to suppress or eliminate. Yes, let's deal with Monkeypox, COVID, hate crimes and everything else they are throwing at us today, but above all, let's get registered and prepare to VOTE.
Election Day is just three months away, on November 8, 2022. Multnomah County has 30 Official Ballot Drop Sites available until 8 p.m. on Election Day for you to return your voted ballot. For more information, about what is on the ballot and how to register and vote, visit multco.us/elections/november-8-2022-general-election.