Turnout will decide the election

I can’t wait until this Saturday when I’m able to cast my vote against Nevada’s U.S. Senator Dean Heller, choosing to replace our Trumpian senator with Rep. Jacky Rosen, someone I’m confident will represent us with integrity and compassion.

I usually vote on election day, as I enjoy seeing my neighbors engage in their civic duty, and I like to make sure our local polling place is running smoothly, especially after one year when I found confusing signage and closed gates confounding voters in our neighborhood. But this year, I want to get on record against Heller at the first opportunity.

I’ll continue down the ballot on Saturday, refusing to vote for anyone who is a Republican, even in non-partisan races. I can no longer lend my support to any person who is still a member of a party so lacking in values and honor, even if I believe she or he is the best candidate. Belonging to the Republican Party is now an automatic disqualifier for my vote.

Unfortunately, that leads me to races I may have to skip if both candidates are Republican. And it means I’ll have to hold my nose and vote for a few Democrats whom I would normally reject due to their incompetence or lack of ethics, essentially voting for the lesser of two evils, which I’m well aware is still evil. But anyone who remains complicit with today’s Republican Party, through their silence and acquiescence, is not worthy of elected office. After all, no one is even pretending to “take back” the Republican Party anymore. There’s no hope of turning back. Senators Lindsey Graham and Susan Collins have now proven that beyond any doubt.

Like many women, I have been enraged these past several weeks at the treatment of the courageous Dr. Blasey Ford by Republicans who call angry women a “mob” and the #MeToo movement a crusade of victimization. The President mocks survivors at his partisan rallies while his allies in Congress basically tell women to go back to the 1950s and keep our men happy and our concerns to ourselves. They’ve made it clear that they are in charge and that our hysterical claim to equal rights or reproductive freedom won’t be tolerated. It’s been a depressing and jolting experience.

Political pundits contend that the Kavanaugh fiasco is energizing Republicans to turn out this mid-term and will thus ensure GOP control of the Senate. I am less confident of that theory in Nevada, where Republicans reliably turn out in higher numbers than Democrats and hardly need an extra incentive to do what they always have done. I believe outrage-driven motivation is on the Democratic side where voters often tend to let a mid-term slide but may find the inspiration to show up this year in the Kavanaugh/Ford hearing and Republican attempts to destroy our health care. Heller’s fate depends upon them.

Many of these inveterate voters are younger people, low-income and/or minorities, groups with less power and influence. Young women in particular should be paying attention to the underlying reason Kavanaugh’s nomination was bulldozed through the Senate. Parkersburg City Councilman Eric Barber from West Virginia made it crystal clear in a social media post after the confirmation vote when he told “liberals” to get their “coat-hangers ready,” an apparent and appalling reference to the perceived anti-choice vote of the newly minted Supreme Court Justice to overturn Roe v. Wade. Don’t think it can’t happen.

Early voting is available from Saturday, Oct. 20 through Friday, Nov. 2. You can find the polling locations and times at www.washoecounty.us/voters/files/18_election_files/18_new_ev_schedule.pdf or go to the Voter Registrar’s office at the Washoe County Complex at Ninth Street and Wells Avenue during business hours.

Let’s show them the power of the “angry left-wing mob.” Go vote.