As I’m writing this on April 29, 2020, the political side of my mind is breathing a sigh of relief. I’m relieved because this odd primary election season has finally come to a conclusion after six weeks of debate and interruption.
Regardless of which ballot you voted on or what issues did or didn’t pass, it’s important to take stock of the big picture. If we get through the next couple of weeks without any large voting scandals surrounding falsification or voter suppression, we will have achieved something monumental in our democracy — largely remote ballot-casting.
This is a big deal because one of the biggest concerns we have in 2020 is the sanctity of our elections. We have been asking ourselves for the better part of a decade now if our elections are safe from foreign interference, if those running have asked for some kind of intervention, and where all of these campaign financiers are coming from.
If we can pull off a remote vote without any of these issues becoming larger, then we will have opened up the ability for underserved communities to vote in elections and have them know, without a doubt, that their vote still matters.
Yes, absentee voting has been available for some time, but it may not have been advertised in such a way as it is now. Thanks to the several updates from state officials over the last two months, more and more people have been made aware of their ability to vote on an absentee ballot, the cost (free), and that they are still able to make their political voice heard.
As I’ve stated here before, the most important thing we can do politically at this point in our history is to remember that there is a government that needs to be informed by our opinions and our votes. That even in the face of a pandemic, we are still responsible for the direction our government moves in.
Most importantly, in a time where both state and federal governments have taken great measures to ensure our protection through temporary restrictions, we must make sure they give those liberties back to us, the People.
We the People remind these governments that we appreciate what they have done for us, but that when the time is right, we maintain our rights as outlined in our Constitution.
Continue voting, continue reaching out to your elected officials, and continue being engaged in the political process.
So, fellow Ohioans, congratulations on completing a completely absentee primary cycle.
You have made history, you have made your voice heard, and you have made a difference!
Dillon Oney is a social studies teacher at Wilmington High School.