As a woman who grew up at a time before reliable contraception and safe abortions, I concur with the sentiments here but also believe that anyone who is a woman, was born of a woman, loves a woman, or cares about this planet should vote in favor of women’s right to govern their own bodies. VOTE!!
Opinion This is not a normal election. Voters should keep that in mind.
By the Editorial Board
November 5, 2022 at 7:00 a.m. EDT
As Tuesday’s midterm elections approach, Americans seemingly cannot agree on anything — except that they cannot agree. A new Post poll shows that Americans are virtually unanimous in their worry that severe political divisions have increased the risk of politically motivated violence. Nearly 9 in 10 reported they are somewhat or very concerned. Federal authorities warned last week that a broad range of potential targets, such as ideological opponents and election workers, might be at risk following the vote, particularly if losing candidates claim election fraud. Leading up to Election Day, voters themselves have been menaced in places such as Arizona, where body-armor-clad watchers have monitored people depositing their ballots in drop boxes.
There is no need to overstate the threat; widespread early voting has so far proceeded mostly without incident, and it is imperative that Americans are not scared away from the polls. That requires leaders at all levels of government to assure that voting and vote-counting proceed smoothly — and for voters themselves to recognize that this election matters, more than many others in the past, and to be sure to show up.
In deciding whether and how to vote, Americans should keep the fundamentals in mind, supporting candidates committed to the democratic system and the peaceful transfer of power, and opposing those who have tried to profit from toxic lies about election integrity. Otherwise, those who stoke unfounded suspicions and widen divisions might prevail. This would encourage others to mimic them. It would also hand over critical elements of the machinery of democracy to election deniers in advance of the 2024 presidential race.
Such candidates have appeared all over the map. A Post count found that in 10 states, election deniers are running to become their states’ chief elections officials, such as Arizona’s Mark Finchem (R), Michigan’s Kristina Karamo (R) and Nevada’s Jim Marchant (R). In office, deniers could make voting more difficult, encourage doubts about the integrity of the count, run conspiracy-theory-inspired vote audits — as the Arizona Senate did following the 2020 election — or even refuse to certify election results.
Meanwhile, if Republican Doug Mastriano were to win Pennsylvania’s governorship, he would have substantial control over voting in a key swing state. Then there are Republican Senate candidates such as New Hampshire’s Don Bolduc and Arizona’s Blake Masters. Members of the House and Senate will have to count presidential electoral votes in 2024; the more election deniers elected, the more likely a partisan congressional majority might overturn a legitimate presidential vote.
In total, a Post tally found nearly 300 election deniers running for major office in 48 of 50 states.
In some cases, Democrats helped extremists win GOP primary elections, calculating cynically that they would be easier to beat in general elections. Polls show that this gambit might backfire, as voters preoccupied with inflation, the economy, crime and other matters consider voting for the extremists anyway. Shortsightedly, Democrats have failed to build a pan-ideological coalition to defend democracy, as they should have the moment Donald Trump won the 2016 GOP presidential nomination.
Yet it is ultimately on voters to keep the big picture in mind. The stakes are higher than where the top marginal tax rate might end up, what kinds of judges get confirmed or even the size of government. The past two elections have not been normal, and this one is not, either.