Hollywood, MD – Endorsements? Well, now that I’ve got your attention, these are not the usual endorsements you see from newspapers. I promised a few weeks ago that I would keep my vote a secret and that will continue to be the case. I endorse whole-heartedly, the secret ballot. Thus begins my list of endorsements.

I endorse Senator Barbara Mikulski for her decision to transition to an elder stateswoman. A brisk turnover in both chambers of Congress is good for the country. It’s also good for the lawmaker who is leaving. He or she may now enjoy retirement and those post-employment perks—courtesy of the taxpayers and sanctioned by—who else?—Congress! Who will be the next legislative veteran to decide it’s time to step aside? Many congresspersons have done amazing things after leaving office. For example, Davey Crockett fought at the Alamo. That was a great second career!

I endorse election judges and poll workers for their hard work during early voting. It seems, however, their work is unappreciated since so many morons out there are buying into this conspiracy theory about a rigged election. The people I know who work professionally for the election offices and voluntarily during election days are extremely principled. Many are involved in partisan politics but they check their partisanship during those hours they are involved in this serious process. The “rigged” allegations are an insult to them.

I endorse anyone who gives a friend, family member or neighbor a ride to the polls and doesn’t ask or doesn’t care for whom the rider is voting.

I endorse anyone who plans and hosts a post-election party. Election nights are an evening of mixed emotions—joy, relief, sadness, regret, sometimes anger and bitterness and frequently, lingering uncertainty. People need someone to share the emotions when the numbers are being counted and the outcome is becoming apparent. It’s a time to drink, eat and digest what the voters have decided.

I endorse candidates who can win or lose with class.

If you didn’t early-vote or submit an absentee ballot, be sure to go to the polls and cast your vote Tuesday. Collectively, voters do not make mistakes. The biggest mistake an individual makes on Election Day is voiding his or her franchise by giving their privilege and responsibility to vote a pass. It’s a choice you can make but we can’t endorse it.

Contact Marty Madden at marty.madden@thebaynet.com