Making sure all votes are counted isn't 'a win for Democrats'—it's a win for all Americans

As I was doomscrolling through Twitter yesterday, the wording of an Associated Press post caught my eye. "The Supreme Court will allow absentee ballots in North Carolina to be received and counted up to 9 days after Election Day, in a win for Democrats," it read.

A win for Democrats? Surely they meant a win for Americans? For voters? For democracy?



I wasn't the only one who noticed that phrase, as comment after comment expressed the same reaction. What the heck, AP?

A follow-up tweet gave some context to the AP's share text on the original article, as the outlet explained, "The Supreme Court justices, by a 5-3 vote, refused a request from Republicans to disturb a decision by North Carolina's State Board of Elections to push back the deadline for ballots postmarked on or before Election Day to be received by Nov. 12."

Since it was a request from Republicans that was denied, I suppose one could argue that it's a win for Democrats. But is that really where we are? Where one party's request being denied by the courts is automatically a "win" for the opposing party? Have we just completely internalized a binary, partisan world where anything that's a loss for one "side" is good for the other?

At the same time, it's hard to completely argue with the AP's statement when Republicans actually are beating the "let's figure out every way we can to make it harder for people's votes to count" drum.

It sure seems that way, anyway.

And what's really sad is that it's not even like not wanting the largest number of Americans possible voting is a secret. Influential conservative activist Paul Weyrich famously said in 1980, "I don't want everybody to vote. As a matter of fact, our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down."

Paul Weyrich - "I don't want everybody to vote" (Goo Goo) www.youtube.com


President Trump himself said that Republicans would "never" win an election again if it were easier to vote, such as by implementing all mail-in voting. Though he was likely implying that Democrats would cheat—as if Democrats somehow have a corner on the statistically miniscule issue of voter fraud or magically know how to game a mail-in system—the reality is that neither thing is true.

Bernie Sanders also tried to say that Democrats win more elections when voter turnout is higher, but again, it's just not true. There actually is no clear correlation between voter turnout and partisan wins.

In reality, every American should want as many of their fellow citizens to vote, because that's how free elections are supposed to work—with the majority of Americans expressing with their vote who they want to rule for a while. We can't know what the majority prefers if only half the electorate shows up at the ballot box. Even in an easily won election—say 60% or 70% of actual voters voting for one candidate—if only half of eligible voters show up, the candidate that got the majority of the vote might still represent a minority of the electorate. We simply have no way of knowing the preferences of the majority unless the vast majority shows up.

Voting matters. And we know that it matters because partisans have worked hard to skew voting processes to benefit their own side. Both parties engage in gerrymandering, which I still can't believe is allowed. And various forms of voter suppression, especially of minorities, have long been a problem, from the racist Southern Democrats of the pre-Civil Rights era to the current GOP.

And a lot of voter suppression is blatant. I live in a town of less than 35,000 people and we have several ballot drop boxes—and this is in a state with universal mail-in voting. While our county has actually added more drop boxes due to the pandemic, the governor of Texas worked hard to remove drop boxes from Texas counties this election, leaving just one single drop box for all 4.5 million people in Harris county, home of Houston, when they previously had a dozen.

That's preposterous. There's no reason for that kind of voter suppression, except for fear of democracy working exactly the way it should.

Voting should be secure, but simple. It should be made as easy as possible for everyone. Enabling early voting has helped make voting easier in many states, as has implementing universal mail-in voting. There is simply zero reason that people should have to wait five, eight, 11 hours in line to vote. It's just ridiculous. Some have suggested making Election Day a national holiday so people don't have to get out of work to go to the polls. Let's open more polling places. Let's end partisan tricks to make voting harder.

Let's celebrate our representative government and treat voting like the sacred right that it is—by encouraging and enfranchising every eligible voter in America.

Image by 5540867 from Pixabay

Figuring out what to do for a mom on Mother's Day can be a tricky thing. There's the standard flowers or candy, of course, and taking her out to a nice brunch is a fairly universal winner. But what do moms really want?

Speaking from experience—my kids range from age 12 to 20—a lot depends on the stage of motherhood. What I wanted when my kids were little is different than what I want now, and I'm sure when my kids are grown and gone I'll want something different again.

We asked our readers to share what they want for Mother's Day, and while the answers were varied, there were some common themes that emerged.

Moms of young kids want a break.

When your kids are little, motherhood is relentless. Precious and adorable, yes. Wonderful and rewarding, absolutely. But it's a LOT. And it's a lot all the fricking time.

Most moms I know would love the gift of alone time, either away at a hotel or Airbnb or in their own home with no one else around. Time alone is a priceless commodity at this stage, especially if it comes with someone else taking care of cleaning, making sure the kids are fed and safe and occupied, doing the laundry, etc.

This is especially true after more than a year of pandemic living, where we moms have spent more time than usual at home with our offspring. While in some ways that's been great, again, it's a lot.

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"I love being a nurse because I have the honor of connecting with my patients during some of their best and some of their worst days and making a difference in their lives is among the most rewarding things that I can do in my own life" - Tenesia Richards, RN

From ushering new life into the world to holding the hand of a patient as they take their last breath, nurses are everyday heroes that deserve our respect and appreciation.

To give back to this community that is always giving so selflessly to others, CeraVe® put out a call to nurses to share their stories for a chance to be featured in Heroes Behind the Masks, a digital content series shining a light on nurses who go above and beyond to provide safe and quality care to patients and their communities.

First up: Tenesia Richards, a labor and delivery nurse working in New York City who, in addition to her regular job, started a community outreach program in a homeless shelter that houses expectant mothers for up to one year postpartum.

Tenesia | Heroes Behind the Masks presented by CeraVe www.youtube.com

Upon learning at a conference that black mothers in the U.S. die at three to four times the rate of white mothers, one of the widest of all racial disparities in women's health, Richards decided to take further action to help her community. She, along with a handful of fellow nurses, volunteered to provide antepartum, childbirth and postpartum education to the women living at the shelter. Additionally, they looked for other ways to boost the spirits of the residents, like throwing baby showers and bringing in guest speakers. When COVID-19 hit and in-person gatherings were no longer possible, Richards and her team found creative workarounds and created holiday care packages for the mothers instead.

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