Two days until November 6 and that means this is day five of reasons you should VOTE NO on both amendments on Minnesota’s ballot. I’ve pretty much used up my scenario creativity, so today I’m going to go with Minnesota elitism (We’re #1! We’re #1!). Read day one and the intro here.

Minnesota is the best, part one: Why voting no on the marriage amendment makes Minnesota awesomer.

I really love Minnesota, and that’s part of what would make it so heartbreaking to see this amendment pass. But I also have a lot of confidence in us: confidence that we may stumble in the dark at times, but we do strive to be better. Don’t get me wrong, I know we’re not unicorn land and that we have our problems, but in my experience there has been a long culture here of both independence and a recognition of interdependence. I think that if Minnesotans keep those things in mind–that we value the individual and we see that we’re stronger together than we are separate–that we can not only set the tone for how we treat LGBT people with a big old NO on this amendment, but we can use this time of reflection to think about how linked we all are and how the success and happiness of everyone else is linked with our own. Making the lives of LGBT Minnesotans harder means making the lives of their families (parents, siblings, children, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.) harder and it makes life harder for every boy who’s a little too ‘artsy’ and every girl who’s a little too ‘tomboyish’ regardless of who they’ll wind up dating in their futures.

That adds up to a lot of people in this state. We can lead the way and be the first state to say NO to an amendment like this. We can do this. And it will lead to brighter days.

Minnesota is the best, part two: Do we really want to be like these other states?

Minnesota has one of the most awesome sets of voting laws and infrastructures in the country. I’m not kidding. One of the reasons we consistently get such high turnout in elections is that we make it easy for people to vote when they can — and to register at the last minute. Sometimes, this sucks for my personal candidates of choice (those last minute registerers probably gave Ventura the votes to become governor), but that’s okay. The infrastructure is the important part here, the access to voting is the important part here.

Other states, states in which the groups promoting Voter ID have won victories, have terrible voting track records when it comes to managing crowds. Let’s go with just today, how about?

In Miami, the Miami-Dade election department opened from 1-5 p.m. to try to work around a new Florida law that clamped down on early voting. So many people showed up that they shut down.

Thanks to the rabble rousing voters being like “OMG WTF?” they reopened. However, yikes, you’d think a county and state that majorly messed up the 2000 election would have their act together 12 years later. But you’d think wrong.

And then there’s Ohio. This line? Not okay. One great way to suppress votes, especially for people who don’t have a lot of time to spare from work or child care, is to make it take an incredibly long time to vote. If today is an example of what Tuesday will be like in Ohio, they are well on their way.

As I mentioned the other day, the whole in-person voter fraud thing is a whole lot of hogwash, but there are many ways to intimidate people or structurally prevent them from voting. Here’s more info about those: voter caging, lying flyers, deceptive robocalls, felon disenfranchisement, voter ID laws, voter purges, menacing billboards, poll watchers, messing with early voting, and making voter registration more difficult.

Finally, let’s remember that it is not really that long ago that we got most of this voting equality sorted out (and we’re still better than others because a lot of others still suck). Back in 1947, a time when both of my parents were alive, the registrar in Caddo Parish, Louisiana, would only enroll black voters who could produce three registered white voters to vouch for them. And in 1962, when my mom was well into college, the RNC launched “Operation Eagle Eye,” and sent Houston residents false warnings that police would be at polling locations arresting people with outstanding traffic tickets; Latinos in the Rio Grande valley got letters saying “It probably would be wiser to simply stay at home and not go near the voting place on election day, rather than get arrested for interfering with the election judge.”

We’re better than this, right? I sure as hell think so.

I’m also going to plug Megan’s favorite movie here, which is about women winning the right to vote, called “Iron Jawed Angels.” She’s weird. But think about women being jailed, going on hunger strikes, and force fed in jail for trying to secure the right for women to vote just under 100 years ago…this right is too hard won to let people take it away.


Stopwatch designed by Steffen Nørgaard Andersen from The Noun Project