We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Election People


I read a story yesterday about a 102-year-old woman in Chicago, Bea Lumpkin, who covered herself head-to-toe in PPE so that she could go in person to drop off her ballot.

She was two years old when the 19th Amendment was passed. She’s never missed an election, voting in every one since she became old enough to do so.

Although she’s been isolating herself, avoiding exposure to COVID-19, she wasn’t about to miss this year’s election. So, she followed the recommended safety guidelines to minimize her risk and made her way to the nearest ballot drop-off box.

Given her experience and age, it might be tempting for her to approach this election as optional, her participation as unnecessary. But it’s those experiences, the awareness and wisdom gained from a career as a school teacher who’s lived through two world wars, the Great Depression, the 1918 pandemic, the space age, the focus on civil rights, and everything else that’s happened in the past century, that encouraged her to vote this year. Even as she nears the end of her life journey, she remains hopeful about the future – for herself and for all of us who will still be here after she’s gone.

Today’s cuppa is for Bea Lumpkin and all the others like her, ordinary heroes and role models, doing what they can to make the world a better place for everybody.



I meant to post this yesterday but got distracted and forgot. The good news is that voter registration doesn’t have to happen on one specific day. So, today can also be a Very Good Day.

Today is National Voter Registration Day.

All across the country, people are being encouraged to register and participate in the election process. That makes this a Very Good Day.

Voting is cool; voting is wise. See you at the polls.



I almost didn’t vote yesterday.

Not because I didn’t want to; because I almost ran out of time, and because it seemed inconvenient.

Typically, I early vote. This time, for various reasons, that didn’t happen. So, yesterday was my last chance.

When I got to the polling location late in the day, there was a long line of people (socially-distanced people) waiting for their turn to go in. I had to drive around the parking lot a couple of times to find a spot. At one point, I thought, you don’t have to do this. But then I thought, just keep going.

Once I parked and made my way to the end of the line and realized that I’d be standing outside for a good while on the hottest (so far) day of the year, I thought, you don’t have to do this. But then I thought, just keep going.

And then, when I made it inside and realized that the line of (socially-distanced) people snaked around the corner and back and forth within the building for a bit, meaning that the wait would continue, I thought, you don’t have to do this. But then I thought, just keep going.

In the end, it took me about five minutes to vote, and much longer to wait to vote. While waiting, I didn’t see one person step out of line to leave. I didn’t hear anybody complain. The poll workers did their best to keep things moving quickly. Kudos to them for an efficient operation. Waiting was simply a necessary part of the process, part of the experience.

I’m not sharing this story for some kind of pat on the back. I don’t deserve special recognition. No blue ribbon, no trophy. My choice to vote – or not to vote – is always a very personal decision, affected by a whole lot of considerations. I respect that it’s the same for others. But, I am glad I participated yesterday.

Despite the wait, the heat, the inconvenience, it was ultimately just me. I didn’t know if my preferred candidates would win. But it was me, and my opinions, and my values, and my hopes and dreams and gratitude, and a voting booth.

Election People


Today’s cuppa celebrates the people who do the work that makes elections possible.

Being an Election Clerk or an Election Judge can be fun, such as when you learn that somebody’s a first-time voter, and you cheer for them as they proudly accept their “I voted” sticker. There’s also a thrill that comes from knowing that you’re contributing to history, even on a small scale – a thrill that can cause your heart to beat just a bit faster, even if only for a moment.

Mostly, however, working in an election involves a repetitive process of making sure stuff happens in the right way, at the right time, and gets to the right place in the right format. You must arrive at the polling place early, often before the sun is up, and you’re the last one to leave at the end of the day, which might end up being longer than you anticipated (it’s up to you to ensure that everybody who is in line when the polls close at your location gets to vote, no matter how long it takes). In between the start and the end, you are responsible for the machines, and the papers, and the questions, and everything else it takes to manage the process at your location.

During popular elections, the work can keep you on your toes. During off-years, there might be long stretches of the day when nothing happens, when you’re waiting for somebody to show up and cast their vote. Sadly, slow election days tend to be more common than the ones that keep you busy; nevertheless, they still require coordination and people to make them happen.

If you’d like to contribute to the election process, you may want to find out how to participate in these types of roles. Requirements vary, based on local election rules; you can learn more through your elections office. While there are specific expectations and possibly training involved, it’s typically not difficult be to be part of the action.

The success of free and fair elections depends on the willingness of citizens to contribute to the process. So, here’s to the election workers. Thank you for all you do so that we can make our voices heard.