As I drove home tonight, heading east from downtown Columbus, I could see the heavy black clouds rapidly approaching in my rear view mirror. Suddenly it was upon me — one of those violent thunderstorms that are as much a part of summer in Ohio as sweet corn or Little League baseball games.
You forget how powerful these storms are until you are out in the middle of one, with lightning forking down and the wind lashing the rain across the pavement. Even the inside of an SUV feels a bit insecure when the crack and roll of heavy thunder shakes the countryside and the trees bow down in recognition of the storm’s might.
But you turn your wipers to their fastest tempo, and you slow down to avoid hydroplaning on the water-covered pavement, and you leave a bit more distance between your car and the one ahead of you, and you move on. Eventually, the storms pass, as they always do.
When I went to vote this morning I was delighted to see a number of younger people manning the voting station. Normally our poll workers are senior citizens, but today there were some decidedly younger participants. It turns out that they are part of a program called Youth at the Booth, a program sponsored by Kids Voting Central Ohio which encourages high school seniors to work at the polls. The “Youth at the Booth” volunteer who showed me to my touch screen machine and gave me my “I voted today” sticker did a fine job, too.
What a great idea! That kind of experience is bound to make young adults more likely to vote themselves, and also to engage in civic activities.
Election Day has come again. I’ll be stopping at my polling place on my way to work. It is in a church on Route 62, and there I will exercise my franchise with respect to a number of local races and statewide ballot issues.
In encourage everyone to get out and vote. It always makes me feel good – and this year I will feel especially good voting against Issue 3. We don’t need or want casino gambling in Ohio! We don’t need to join Indiana and Michigan and West Virginia in a race to the bottom, and we shouldn’t muck up the Ohio Constitution with what is, in reality, special interest legislation unworthy of being memorialized in our state’s most fundamental governing document.
I’m happy to see that some Columbus community development organizations have come out against Issue 3. Although organizations in Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Toledo have endorsed the proposal, Columbus groups have criticized Issue 3 — correctly, I think — as an obvious effort to line the pockets of special interests and to preclude state or local regulation of casinos by establishing them through a constitutional amendment. I hope Columbus voters are paying attention.