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Sunday, October 23, 2016

Two heroes emerged at the polls this year, and neither was named Barack or Mitt.

Their names are Galicia and Ken — ordinary Americans with extraordinary depths of civic spirit. While nearly 40 percent of eligible voters didn’t bother to cast their ballots this year, these two demonstrated that our democratic right to vote is not something to take lightly — especially at a time when Republican officials in several states are going to extremes to deny millions of citizens that right.

Galicia Malone, 21 years old, was making an urgent trip to the hospital Tuesday morning because she was about to give birth to her first child. Her water had broken, and her contractions were five minutes apart, so there was no time to waste.

Galicia points out that the opportunity to vote ought not be wasted — so, contractions be damned, she stopped at her polling place in a Chicago suburb and patiently went down the entire ballot, determined to be counted in her first presidential election.

Ignoring her pains, Galicia says: “I was just trying to read and breathe. This is my first baby, a girl, and I wanted to make a good impression. I want to have a story to tell her.” Having proudly delivered her vote, she then drove herself to the hospital and delivered her baby. Now that’s a story!

Ken Knight of Buda, Texas, is another diehard voter. Literally. Sadly, Ken died from cancer on Tuesday morning, Election Day. But, on the previous Friday, the last day of early voting, his wife and several friends lifted him, his wheelchair and two tanks of oxygen into a van and drove him to city hall.

He was “hell-bent on voting,” Amy Knight says of her husband. “It was a driving force for him.” Her only regret was that she forgot to get an “I voted” sticker for Ken’s ride home.

So spare me any whines about voting being a pain or too much of a bother for you.

Not bothering to vote is deplorable — but preventing others from voting is both disgraceful and disgusting.

  • My hat is off to all of those folks, no matter their brand of politics, who braved weather and long lines to exercise their franchise. My family lives in the foothills of the Sierra in California and we had no problem with early voting in our state. Our little county had record turn out and we had to wait in line about 3 minutes. Elections do not have to be so brutal as illustrated by Ohio, Florida and elsewhere. Shame on those who lobbied to make it more difficult.

  • nobsartist

    No temporary employed partisan hack should have anything to do with how we vote.
    The people in florida responsible for this debacle need to go to prison.

    • Sand_Cat

      Unfortunately, the people responsible are those who voted to elect the SOB and those who didn’t bother to vote against him. Don’t think we have enough cells for all of them, even if we double-up!

      • nobsartist

        perhaps we need to start dealing with criminals like china does. once you are found guilty of a high crime you are shot.

        republiCON voter fraud like florida, ohio and michigan among others have participated in should be considered a HIGH CRIME.

        After all, look at what the AWOL coke head did once he took office.

  • bcarreiro

    I voted for the first time …………….and now i know my vote counted. It takes one man to screw in a light bulb(obama) and 99 republicans to take it out. this tea party should be dissolved for its basis in this country is about corruption and dismantling a democracy as they sit back and undermine the people to protect the protected who are only a selected few, thats why the 1% never changes.

  • nobsartist

    The real voter fraud is being conducted by republiCON governors and secretary of states.
    Feds need to pass guidelines and if states cannot meet them, GOVERNORS need to go to prison.

  • dtgraham

    As filled with wonder and admiration as I am for those Americans who stood in those lines, the Democratic Party cannot keep counting on that kind of valour and heroism from their voters every election. Common sense tells me that a lot of Democratic votes were also lost because of those lines for a variety of reasons.

    I empathize with nobsartist here. In the short run how about some kind of criminal repercussions for this, at least until something better is concocted. This is a serious assault on democracy.

  • danrome

    So funny I stumbled upon this site from espn. I was reading a story about the new Rockets line up. I am struck by the ignorance and intolerance both of the writers and those commenting. I have been living out of the states for 6 years now and all of you should be ashamed really. I thought the conservative point of view was closed off, but I have news for you all. You are just as bad. The name calling and self righteousness is exactly the same. Take a long look at yourselves in the mirror because you have sunken to the depths of your supposed enemies. You are all just liberal versions of Rush Limbaugh. And you disgrace the ideal you supposedly stand for.