Voting in the Time of COVID

First off, I’ll lead by saying the school budget passed yesterday by a vote of 2,454 in favor to 1,917 against. (All of the things I voted for yesterday passed easily, as a matter of fact. Huzzah!) And as is often the case, the typical commentators on our local online paper have shown up to bemoan the fact that the budget passed and accuse teachers of rigging the vote.

(Side note: These same budget hawks clamor and rattle their cages on each and every article about the school budget that gets posted on the site. It’s tiresome to hear the same arguments year after year, though I’m sure it’s tiresome for them to have their opinion voted down every year as well. It’s particularly discouraging to see how little actual debate they want to engage in. They’ve made up their minds, and those minds will not be changed. That’s something that’s happening across the country these days. I feel like many staunch Republicans have just decided to ignore any and all evidence that shows their positions might be misguided and their opinions flawed, choosing instead to focus on any shortcomings the Democrats might have, instead. It’s the same trend that makes it so that they dismiss the Black Lives Matter movement as full of cop killers and looters, but then turn around and say the police are wrongly maligned just because of a few “bad apples.” But this side note is getting very non-side-notey now, so I’ll stop.)

I’m relieved the budget passed, of course, but I was even more impressed with the voting process in my town yesterday. Heading into it, I was concerned it would be chaotic, or that there would be a big deal made about masks or no masks. Instead, Denisa and I got there around 11:20. There was no line, but 6 feet intervals were marked on the ground, in case a line formed. Someone was there at the door to ensure no more than 25 people were in the building at any one time. Everyone was masked. Pens were single use only before being sanitized. Plexiglass shields were up, and social distancing was very well enforced.

Really, it was surprisingly conflict-free.

I can’t say if it was that way throughout the day, since I only saw it for about 10 minutes of voting, but it gave me hope that we can continue to come up with good, practical ways of moving on with life but doing so in a safe, responsible fashion.

Way to go, Maine!


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