After all we've seen, we now have joy! OOPS...

Becky O'Malley
Friday November 04, 2016 - 02:49:00 PM

Well, the November Surprise happened, and it confirmed the worst Halloween nightmares. More later when I've had my six cups of coffee here in Ohio-- and it won't even be Peet's. Read Bob Burnett's column from three days ago if you really want to feel creepy. 

Only perhaps once in my life have I voted early. You never know what’s going to happen, I’ve always thought—better to keep your options open. What if there’s a November surprise?

But this year, mirabile dictu, I’ve already voted early. This is because my friend Jackie DeBose, former and I hope future Berkeley resident, has persuaded me to go to her current home in Akron Ohio to be a poll-watcher, since voter suppression by nutso Trumpers is a worry.

In four states, including Ohio, the Democratic Party has filed lawsuits against Trump and the Republican Party, accusing campaign officials and supporters of seeking to threaten minorities to keep them from voting.

Jackie tells me the NRA has been marching around in her neck of the woods. I figure they won’t shoot a little old White lady like me, at least not first. I’m taking along another Nasty Woman too, another lapsed lawyer like myself, but truthfully I don’t expect we’ll have all that much to do--we can’t practice in Ohio. We are, however, mouthy, which should be useful in the case of bad behavior. 

My first campaign was in the Midwest, Ann Arbor in 1962, when the big issue was enacting a fair housing law. My mentor, an older woman at 24 to my 22, was Lucy Jefferson, who was from Chicago and knew all about fixing elections. She insisted on lying down on her back and squiggling under the mechanical voting machine to be sure it wasn't rigged, much to the astonishment of the blue-haired Republican ladies who would never dream of doing anything illegal. I don't plan to try that this year. 

So how did I vote? Well, it’s a secret ballot, isn’t it, though as you might expect I mostly followed the Planet recommendations. In fact, I mostly followed the Wellstone Democratic Revival Club endorsements for local matters and Tim Redmond’s encore SF Bay Guardian recommendations for the state. 

Seldom in the past have Sex and Drugs been so prominent on the ballot. What turns out to be tricky are the cases where sneaky groups have put faux measures forward to confuse voters. Be careful about the state measures on the death penalty and plastic bags, and locally vote only U1 if you want to tax the big landlords. 

And when you vote for president, rejoice that you are able to vote for a woman at last. (I cannot believe that any Planet readers will choose Goofy Gary or Dreadful Donald.) 

Me, of course, I’ve already voted for a woman, at least in the Michigan primary in 1972: Shirley Chisholm, Unbossed and Unbought. 

(Here’s the time for a special shout-out to two candidates who were part of that glorious Chisholm campaign in California: Barbara Lee for Congress and Sandré Swanson for California State Senate—needless to say, I voted for both of them with pleasure in this election.) 

Now I’ve proudly voted for Hillary Clinton. Despite the unpleasantness of the presidential campaigns, I've lived to see an African-American president, and I hope to see a woman soon. 

As I once heard a gospel choir sing at St. Paul AME with Jackie: "After all I've seen, I still have joy!" 

Happy voting to you too!