The great American author and poet Dr. Maya Angelou sent an email to Obama supporters this morning, urging everyone not just to vote, but to make sure your friends and family vote, too:
I am not writing to you as a black voter, or a woman voter, or as a voter who is over 70 years old and six feet tall. I am writing to you as a representative of this great country—as an American.
It is your job to vote. It is your responsibility, your right, and your privilege. You may be pretty or plain, heavy or thin, gay or straight, poor or rich.
But remember this: In an election, every voice is equally powerful—don't underestimate your vote. Voting is the great equalizer.
Voting has already begun in some states that President Obama needs to win. So please use this handy tool to make sure your friends in those key states know where to cast their ballot. You will be doing them a great favor.
As a country, we can scarcely perceive the magnitude of our progress.
My grandmother and my uncle experienced circumstances that would break your heart. When they went to vote, they were asked impossible questions like, "How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?" When they couldn't answer, they couldn't vote.
I once debated with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. about whether an African American would ever be elected president. He believed it would happen within the next 40 years at the time—I believed it would never happen within my lifetime.
I have never been happier to have been proven wrong.
And since President Barack Obama's historic election, we've moved forward in courageous and beautiful ways. More students can afford college, and more families have access to affordable health insurance. Women have greater opportunities to get equal pay for equal work.
Yet as Rev. King wrote, "All progress is precarious."
So don't sit on the sidelines. Don't hesitate. Don't have any regrets. Vote.
Go, rise up, and let your friends and family in early vote states know where they can vote today. We must make our voices heard.
Your vote is not only important. It's imperative.
Dr. Maya Angelou
Following a special visit today from both President Obama and Vice President Biden, supporters in Dayton shared why they’re voting early for Team Obama-Biden.
“I've been working as a steelworker since 1995, and I support President Obama because he supports the middle class, working men and women. His rescue of the auto industry was huge.
“I wanted to make sure my vote was in. My 84-year-old mother lives with us, and so does my father-in-law. My wife can't move around too well either, so we all got absentee ballots and filled them out together, and I took them down to the Board of Elections. I’m encouraging all of my friends to vote early.”Read More…
Nevada started early voting this weekend with rallies in Reno and Las Vegas, and supporters from all across the Silver State came out to cast over their ballots. In the first two days of early vote, more than 55,000 votes were cast in Clark County alone. Check out some of the highlights as Nevadans make their voices heard in this election, then find out where and when you can vote in your state.Read More…
Starting today, Nevada voters will be going to the polls and voting early. From first-time voters to voters who have never missed an election in decades, Nevadans are excited to cast their ballots for President Obama. Here’s what a few of them had to say about why they’re voting early this year.
“I’m voting because I really need education reform. I want to go to college after I get my high school diploma, and I don’t want tuition and loan rates to go up. It’ll be my first time voting and I’m really excited.”
—Cynthia V., Las Vegas
“We’re planning on voting this coming Wednesday. We’re off that day and there’s a place close to our home. We’ve already got a plan, got our voter’s books ready, researched all the candidates. Why do we support the President? Why not? We agree with him on all the issues—Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid, health care reform, building up the middle class.”
—Patrick and Julia R., Las Vegas
“I’m an Independent and I’ve never volunteered for any candidate but Barack Obama. I look at one thing in a person: character. That’s the most important thing to me. And in my opinion, President Obama has incredible character. I can tell that he’s very intelligent and wise, that he’s a good leader. I feel like when he goes to Washington, he represents me and all the American people. I’m voting on the first day, today. It’s a way to show my support. My vote counts, and I don’t want to wait for November 6th.”
—Rick B., Pahrump
“President Obama has done what he said he was going to do, so he deserves another four years. I’m voting early because I want to make sure my vote is counted, and I want to make sure the President knows he has the support to get in there and change things the way we need him to.”
—Sam M., Las Vegas
Nevada’s not the only state voting today. If you’re fired up and ready to vote too, find out when voting begins in your state.
This week, organizers and volunteers visited colleges to get out the vote at temporary polling sites on campuses—and crowds of students came out to vote early. Check out the photos to see the action and the special guests who showed up for campus takeover week.
In 2008, more people in North Carolina voted during the early voting period than on Election Day. “It was only because of early voting that we carried the state by 14,000 votes out of 4.3 million cast,” explains Ken Eudy, former executive director of NC Democratic Voters. As the polls open in North Carolina today, watch some of President Obama's supporters share the importance of voting early in the Tar Heel State—then find out everything you need to know to get ready to vote in your state.