Many of our Award Expert clients are U.S. expats living abroad and as the USA votes today in the 2022 midterm elections, I was mildly surprised at how many are flying home simply to vote.
Flying Home To Vote In 2022 U.S. Midterm Elections
Every election cycle we are told this is the most important election of our lifetime. While that may be true (every election may be relatively more important than the last as time progresses), I personally think we can only appreciate the gravity of an election in retrospect…sometimes many years and even decades down the line.
In any case, while our clients tend to be in the upper-income brackets, I still find it somewhat surprising that we’ve booked at least a half dozen clients from places as far as Kenya, Qatar, Sweden, and India a quick back to the USA just to vote.
Theoretically, all of these clients could have requested absentee ballots and voted from abroad. But that is a cumbersome process (some states make it easier than others) and it just sounds so much sexier to say that you flew home to take part in democracy, doesn’t it?
Now some races are looking so close that every vote might matter: I do not downplay the value of even a single vote, though I am a bit incredulous about how some people have justified very pricey business class tickets just to vote. Put another way, perhaps such a profound electoral concern could have been better addressed by donating the equivalent of the airline ticket to the campaign you care most about. Then again, the correlation between money spent and votes received often diverges.
Perhaps it should not come as a surprise. We even booked a couple to fly down to Brazil the week before last just so they could vote in the presidential election there. When I was living in Germany I also timed a trip home in order to vote, though I accomplished many other things as well during my visit.
No judgment from me, but I certainly did not see this level of interest in voting two years ago or even four years ago (before the pandemic).
Please Vote Responsibly
A final word. If you are a U.S. citizen, please vote today and vote as if democracy depended upon it… because it does. Preserving our democratic experiment is a fragile endeavor and the U.S. has somehow managed to persevere for nearly 246 years. But what has been painstakingly built and preserved can be quickly lost. Do not take our representative republic for granted: we must do our part to preserve the rule of law and understand that recklessly sowing the seeds of illegitimacy and corruption concerning elections is a dangerous game. When faith in institutions is eliminated, the entire system is more vulnerable to those who seek to consolidate power for their own sordid gain.
Please also inform yourself on the issues and know what you are voting for (I know for my readers in California, this can be a daunting task with a ballot a mile long with more initiatives and judges than we might care to digest). We must not only vote, but choose the right people. Beyond party affiliation, may you vote for someone who honors the constitution above any man, woman, or party seeking power.
It’s election day and I’ve helped several clients fly from the far reaches of the earth back to the USA in order to vote today. For all of us, let us carefully guard our precious nation by voting and then by accepting the results of that vote and holding all of our elected leaders accountable to carefully safeguarding the system that has given us so much blessing.
Have you ever flown home just to vote?