After the 2000 election, which George W. Bush won by a few hundred contested votes in Florida, I was appointed to the National Commission on Federal election Reform. It was completely bipartisan. The co-chairs were former President Gerald Ford and former President Jimmy Carter. It’s report was released in August 2001.

The overriding goals of the commission were to ensure that elections were free and fair, that every citizen had the right to vote without hindrance, that every vote was counted, and that the results were accurately and fully reported.

Today, it is worth your time to review the recommendations of the Commission.

Amomg other things, the Commission recommended that all properly filed absentee ballots should be counted if they were postmarked no later than Election Day, even if they were counted after the election.

Today, our society is witnessing efforts to suppress the vote. There ar3 states like Texas that limited the number of drop boxes for mail-in ballots to only one per county, meaning that the more than four million people in Harris County (Houston), a sprawling district, would have only one place to register their ballot. People casting early votes acros the country have had to wait in lines for hours.

These shameful tactics are encouraged by Republicans across the nation,to help their unpopular president. Shameful.

We know that Trump’s lackeys will do whatever they can to suppress the vote.

Vote as if your life depends on it. It does.

Vote as if the future of our democracy depends on it. It does.

Oppose those who tacitly support the Ku Klux Klan and white supremacy.

Oppose those who think the Confederate flag is “our heritage.” It is not.

Vote for Biden and Harris.

Vote for anyone challenging Trump’s enablers in the Senate.

Everyone should vote, and every vote should be counted.

If you want to build a better future, vote.