By Taylor Lonas
We have been fighting all our lives. And this year has been no different. While we had hoped 2020 would be a celebratory close to the decade, many found it to be anything but. These past eleven months have been challenging for families who had not the slightest indication of what the year would bring, such as a worldwide contamination of COVID-19, social isolation, and induced hand sanitizer and toilet paper shortages.
To top it all off, this year’s presidential debates and historical election were by all means the first of their kind. In preparation, organizers and campaign teams’ efforts to entice Black voters to cast their ballots spanned social media ads, text banking, commercials, and the country’s largest push for mail-in ballot voting against unrelenting voter suppression tactics. The Black vote is undeniably powerful when displayed in the full glory of a large-scale voter turnout. This became blatantly obvious in November as the votes for the presidential election arrived by mail and were sorted during the span of nearly an entire week of ballot counting efforts. Weeks later the process has ended, the race has been called and we can collectively rest.
But we are not done yet.
On January 5th, Georgia’s general and special election runoffs will be held to determine the seats for the widely publicized United States Senate race. Consequently, a lot hangs in the balance for the upcoming runoffs, as the party of the Congressional officials elected will take control of the Senate for the next presidential term. The two Georgians selected to sit amongst the senate will affect the quality of life of every American via the legislation that crosses the congressional chambers. Senate race aside, Georgians will be voting to fill the seats of the Public Service Commission as well. The commissioners are responsible for determining statewide consumer rates for public utility services during the course of a six-year term.
However, most if not all voters of color, are likely experiencing some form of voter fatigue. Regardless of political affiliation, people are feeling drained, disengaged and tired. Voting on multiple occasions within a short time span takes a toll on communities that are not motivated to be civically e
ngaged, have been previously or repeatedly disappointed by election results, and/or are inevitably experiencing setbacks as a result of the unprecedented pandemic. Many have opted out of participating in civic duty simply for the purpose of partaking in personal self-care.
While prioritization of one’s physical and mental well-being is always of the utmost importance, now is not the time to take a backseat in the realm of politics. In this high-stake period of politics and season of voter fatigue, make sure you practice self-help by minimizing exposure to overly exhaustive media and campaign ads, being selective about the political sources you engage in, and most importantly making a plan to make it to the polls or mail-in your ballots!