Voter registration ended earlier this month, on Tuesday October 9th, here in Florida and in several other swing states. Those of us working hard to elect leaders who understand and care about public health issues, leaders like President Obama and Florida’s Senator Bill Nelson, temporarily put down our clipboards, taking a tiny rest before gearing up to go get out the vote. We need a government that stands up for public health, not one dead set on tearing down longstanding, hard-won protections for people and the environment.
But lots of us devote so much mental energy to this election that it actually starts to sap our energy. It’s hard to stop stewing over the polls at night when a person, and it’s not just me but lots of us, has the bad habit of checking our favorite political tracking blogs right before turning in.
Anyway, October 9th was the last day in the long chapter in which we have been striving to register thousands upon thousands of new voters. Trained in newly passed and unnecessary state regulations, black pens and clipboards at the ready, we hardcore Obama supporters registered voters in apartment complexes, the aisles of big box stores, hair salons, parks and parking lots. Some of us stayed up late into the night at big events full of likely Obama supporters, gay-pride dances and festival celebrating Hispanic culture.
We worked round the clock, looking for ordinary Americans, hoping that they will vote in the best interests of themselves and their families; hoping that they will vote for better solutions to our major public health issues, and better health for all; hoping that they will vote Democratic.
Our work to register voters in the ranks of the lower- and middle-classes proved a real struggle against powerful, coordinated forces trying to …