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Dear Americans,

I just sent in my absentee ballot.  Since you only get to do it once every four years, its easy to forget what a thrill it can be.  I ran to the post office during work and then bounced my way back to work.

I cast my vote in a swing state, but I don’t actually think its going to make a huge difference.  Still, I think the symbolic action of voting is important; participating in the political process is a right for which women went on hunger strikes; went to prison; endured physical attacks; and even died – to say nothing of minorities and immigrants, many of whom can’t vote or who face ongoing difficulties registering.  Slate.com ran an article recently about whether an ignorant vote was better than no vote at all, which made me pause to wonder if I was sufficiently well-educated.  In the end, I decided I was:

I voted as a woman, for the party that I think represents women better (and does not threaten women’s access to health care or family planning), but I also voted for the party that does not seek to disallow my friends from marrying each other (regardless of their gender or sexual orientation); that is more likely to pass the Dream Act (which would allow illegal immigrants to gain citizenship if they served in the military or graduated from college) and has sought to make it easier for American-educated foreigners to stay in the country; that took the troops out of Iraq; and has promised to increase funding to science research and education.

I’m not voting for the party that wants to cut the Pell grant programme (and who’s presidential nominee lied about it during the debate) or the party that has sought to open up coastal drilling and natural gas reserves without regard for the ecological consequences. I’m also not interested in voting for a party that denies that climate change is a thing.

The rest of you still have a week to wait (or more, if speculations about Sandy derailing the electoral process are correct). But please, please, please vote.  And vote for the good guys.  I’ve included a video in favour of each candidate below if you’re still on the fence.

Your friend,