I used to think that if people would just vote the right way for the right people, everything will get back to normal. Now the new normal is anything but normal, and voting may not be enough. But making a vote is an important first step on the road to making America participate again.

On Oct. 3, over 800,000 people registered to vote in the United States. This broke the all-time record for National Voter Registration Day. The nonprofit VOTE partnered with over 4,000 organizations to get the word out. A lot of people clicked the link and got involved. Good sign, but it doesn’t end there.

Some states close registration 30 days before a vote, but Colorado lets voters register all the way up to the day of an election. Our next election is Nov. 6.

Colorado makes it pretty easy. If you have a Colorado driver’s license or ID card issued by the state department of revenue you are all set to register online at govotecolorado.com. You can also go to that website to make sure you are registered, change affiliations, change addresses, etc.

In Grand County you can mail your ballot (two stamps) or vote early in person up to Nov. 5 at the Grand County Administration Building in Hot Sulphur Springs between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday or Saturdays between 8:30 a.m. and 12:30 pm. You will be able to register to vote, update your voter registration, vote in person on a paper ballot or on the electronic equipment, or pick up a replacement mail ballot. Bring your legal ID as described above.

On election day you can vote in person at the Grand County Administration Building in Hot Sulphur Springs, Granby Town Hall in Granby or Grand Park Community Recreation Center in Fraser between 7:00 a.m. and 7 p.m.

Just like all good things there’s more to do than simply vote and then post a picture on Facebook of yourself with the “I Voted” sticker on your sweater. Don’t get me wrong, that’s a good start but it’s really the very least we can do if we want the best outcome.

I keep hearing that people protesting are paid by shady left-wing mobsters and special interests. Please let me know where to sign up for paid protesting because I am broke. In the meantime I may have to bust out the pink pussyhat and hit the streets again. Time to join the unhinged, hysterical, angry mob.

Once the mob gets big enough it will be a lot harder to dismiss, deny and ignore. So far, even the women’s marches have not raised the eyebrows of those in our hallowed halls of power. The Women’s March in 2017 was the largest in American history, with an estimated 3.3 million to 4.6 million participating. That’s a lot of voters taking the extra step past the ballot box.

Politicians in England have made a mess of their duty to “Brexit.” As gridlock prevails in Parliament the people are protesting. The BBC reports an estimated 700,000 descended on London last Saturday. That’s the largest protest in London since Iraq War protests in 2003. People were chanting, “Parliament’s divided, the people must decide it.” These were not angry skinheads. They were kids, families, average LGBTQ folks and all the rest. Hold those bloody, stuffy politicians accountable!

It could be argued that we should do the same. Willie Nelson is doing his share. He just released a new tune, which states the obvious. It’s called “Vote ’em Out.”

In verse two he sings,

“If it’s a bunch of clowns you voted in

Election Day is comin’ ’round again

If you don’t like it now

If it’s more than you’ll allow

If you don’t like who’s in there, vote ’em out.”

When the song burst out on the internet it didn’t take long for cracks to appear in Willie’s fanbase. Some were calling for him to stay out of it. Others were cheering, and still others were defending the tune. If you look at the lyrics, Willie never says who to vote in or out. There’s no mention of red, blue or white. He’s just reminding folks that they have a voice and a choice.

It starts with voting. And then we may have to hit the streets. The right to protest is protected in the First Amendment of the Constitution.

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Steve Skinner thinks that our government has gotten the attention of many empowered women voters. Reach him at nigel@sopris.net.