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在两极分化的美国,数百万人用选票捍卫民主

In a Nation Divided, One Area of Agreement: Voting Matters
在两极分化的美国,数百万人用选票捍卫民主

They had been assured that they were wasting their time. That the fix was in. That a fair outcome was impossible, what with all that Democratic ballot-rigging — or was it Republican voter suppression?

他们不断被告知他们是在浪费时间。结局已定。不可能有公平的结果,不是说民主党操纵选票吗?或是共和党选民被压制?

But millions of Americans gave voting a go anyway on Tuesday, dutifully turning up across the country to cast ballots at schoolhouses, libraries and V.F.W. posts.

但无论如何,数以百万计的美国人在周二投了票,尽责地出现在全国各地的校舍、图书馆和海外退伍军人协会投票站。
 

周二,威斯康辛州基诺沙市的基诺沙公共博物馆,一名选民正在提交选票。

After a campaign marked by the direst of claims, it was, in its way, a small act of faith.

在一场以耸人听闻的主张为标志的竞选后,这样的投票以其自有的方式展现了些许信念。

“It’s going a little bit too far left,” said one voter, Lucas Boyd, 43, explaining what had brought him to a polling place in Haymarket, Va. “We are trying to bring it back to a middle ground, and that is really why I came today.”

43岁的选民卢卡斯·博伊德解释他为什么来到弗吉尼亚州干草市场镇的一个投票站:“有点太左了。我们正试图让它回到中间,我今天就是为这个来的。”

Cheryl Arnold, who was also casting a ballot in Haymarket, had a different outcome in mind. A sales worker in her 50s, she said her aim was “not furthering the Republican agenda.”

同在干草市场镇投票的谢丽尔·阿诺德期待的结果不同。她是一名50多岁的销售人员,她说她的目的是“不让共和党议程继续推进”。

But she and Mr. Boyd, a software salesman, shared at least one fundamental belief: that voting might make a difference.

但她和软件推销员博伊德至少有一个共同的基本信念:投票也许能带来改变。

“I want to do everything I can to use my voice to create the kind of democracy that deserves to exist,” Ms. Arnold said.

“我想尽我所能用我的声音来创造一种值得存在的民主,”阿诺德说。

Still, it was an Election Day of unusual tensions, in keeping with a campaign in which accusations of voting fraud were sometimes cast even before the ballots themselves were, and in which some private citizens took it upon themselves to take up arms and “guard” absentee ballot boxes.

然而这个选举日仍然充满了不寻常的紧张气氛,这和之前的竞选过程是相符的——有时票还没有投出,选票欺诈的指控就已经满天飞了,一些平民百姓自发组织起来“保卫”缺席投票箱。

“I definitely know where the exits are,” said one poll worker in Flagstaff, Ariz., Brittany Montague. “Now more than ever, we’re so polarized, and there isn’t a lot of trust in the system.”

“我绝对知道出路在哪里,”亚利桑那州弗拉格斯塔夫市布列塔尼蒙塔古的一名选举工作人员说。“现在我们比以往任何时候都更加两极分化,而且人们对这个系统没有太多信任。”

In Arizona on Tuesday morning, reports of dozens of malfunctioning ballot-counting machines in Maricopa County prompted a surge of voter fraud claims across right-wing media.

周二早上在亚利桑那州,有关马里科帕县数十台计票机发生故障的报道引发了右翼媒体对选民欺诈的指控激增。

“None of this indicates any fraud,” said Bill Gates, chairman of the Maricopa County board of supervisors, a Republican. “This is a technical issue.”

“这些事情都不说明存在任何欺诈行为,”共和党人、马里科帕县监事会主席比尔·盖茨说。“这是一个技术问题。”

A video captured election workers trying to reassure voters.

一段视频捕捉到了选举工作人员试图安抚选民的画面。

“No one’s trying to deceive anybody,” one poll worker says.

“不存在谁要欺骗谁,”一位选举工作人员说。

“No, not on Election Day. No, that would never happen,” the person recording the video replies sarcastically.

“不,选举日这一天是不会的。不,那永远不会发生,”录制视频的人讽刺地回答。

Even before the day began, more than 40 million Americans had cast early ballots, and millions more were joining them on Tuesday.

甚至在这一天开始之前,就已经有超过4000万美国人提前投票了,周二还有数百万人加入了他们的行列。

In Michigan, the abortion issue was a big draw at the polls. After the Supreme Court decision reversing Roe v. Wade, Michigan was one of five states that had abortion-related measures on the ballot. In Birmingham, an affluent community outside Detroit, a slow stream of people turned out to vote on Proposal 3, a ballot measure to protect abortion rights.

在密歇根州的投票站,堕胎问题是一个具有很大吸引力的议题。在最高法院推翻罗诉韦德案的裁决后,密歇根州是五个在投票中提到堕胎相关措施的州之一。在底特律郊外的富裕社区伯明翰,缓慢的人流开始对提案3进行投票,这是一项保护堕胎权利的选票提案。

Outside the Baldwin Public Library, where Birmingham city workers had turned metered parking into “voter-only parking” for the day, Alexandra Ayaub said supporting the measure was her main reason for voting.

在鲍德温公共图书馆外,伯明翰市工作人员将计时停车位变成了当天“仅限选民停车”。亚历山德拉·阿亚布说,她来投票的主要原因就是为了支持这一提案。

“Michigan should be a safe place for women,” said Ms. Ayaub, 31, who described herself as leaning Democratic.

“密歇根应该是一个对女性来说安全的地方,”31岁的阿亚布说,她自称倾向于民主党。

In nearby Warren, Rosemary Sobol also said the initiative was her main motivation for voting — even if she was still undecided.

在附近的沃伦,罗斯玛丽·索博尔也表示,这项提案是她投票的主要动机——即使她还没有决定。

“I’m not completely anti-abortion, but I’m also a Catholic,” said Ms. Sobol, an 81-year-old retired principal. “It’s a very hard decision.”

“我并不完全反对堕胎,但我也是一名天主教徒,”81岁的退休校长索博尔说。“这是一个非常艰难的决定。”

For some voters, it was a day to reconsider past positions.

对于一些选民来说,他们在这一天重新考虑了过去的立场。

Andrew O’Connell said that he had been born into a Democratic family and that he had long taken pride in switching up his votes between the parties, but at 6:30 Tuesday morning, he could be seen standing outside a busy polling location on Staten Island holding a sign displaying all of the Republicans on the ballot. Everything changed with the social unrest in 2020, he said.

安德鲁·奥康奈尔说,他出生在一个民主党家庭,长期以来他一直以投票不拘泥于党派为荣,但在周二早上6点30分,他站在史泰登岛一个繁忙的投票站外,举着一个标语,上面写着选票上的所有共和党人。他说,随着2020年的社会动荡,一切都改变了。

“I believe safety took a back seat back when the protests were going on,” Mr. O’Connell said. “We sat back and watched that happen and some folks didn’t think there was anything wrong with it.”

“我相信,在有抗议的时候,安全问题就会变得次要,”奥康奈尔说。“我们坐视这种情况发生,有些人却认为这没有什么问题。”

For other voters, it was a day to reconsider life choices — like where to live.

对于其他选民来说,他们在这一天重新考虑了生活的选择——比如住在哪里。

When Albert Latta, 67, left a polling place in Kenosha, Wis., he had a weary look. The most important issue for him in this election? “Honesty,” he said.

67岁的阿尔伯特·拉塔走出威斯康辛州基诺沙的一个投票站时一脸疲惫。这次选举对他来说最重要的问题是什么?“诚实,”他说。

Mr. Latta said that he had voted Democratic in the races for governor and the Senate and that he was so tired of deception from Republicans — on election integrity, among other issues, he said — that he was considering picking up and moving across the state line into the blue of Illinois.

拉塔说,他在州长和参议院竞选中投给了民主党人,他说,在选举诚信等问题上,他厌倦了共和党人的欺骗。他正在考虑收拾家当搬到隔壁的蓝州伊利诺伊州。

“How Wisconsin goes in this election may have a lot to do with that decision,” he said. “I call today’s vote the biggest I.Q. test this country has ever taken.”

“威斯康辛州在这次选举中的表现可能与这个决定有很大关系,”他说。“我把今天的投票称为这个国家有史以来最大的智商测试。”

For some voters, a hop across state lines, it appeared, might not do the trick.

对于一些选民来说,跨越州界也不见得解决问题。

In the city of Folsom, in one of liberal California’s more conservative regions, John Butruce, 66, offered a fairly succinct synopsis of his take on things before casting his ballot.

在自由派的加州较为保守的地区之一福尔瑟姆市,66岁的约翰·布霍姆斯在投票前简要阐述了自己的观点。

“I don’t like the taxes, I don’t like the inflation, I don’t like the crime,” Mr. Butruce said. “I don’t like the state of the country or the state of the state.”

“我不喜欢税,我不喜欢通胀,我不喜欢犯罪,”布霍姆斯说。“我不喜欢这个国家的现状,也不喜欢这个州的现状。”

In Kenosha, where voters were deciding whether to re-elect Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, the shadow of the demonstrations and riots that tore through the city in August 2020 after a police shooting loomed large.

在基诺沙,选民们正在决定是否让民主党人托尼·埃弗斯连任州长。2020年8月,警察枪击事件后的示威和骚乱阴影曾经笼罩这座城市。

“I just want to get him out,” said Abraham Gloria, 40. “He could have stopped what happened with the riots, and he didn’t.”

“我只想把他弄下台,”40岁的亚伯拉罕·格洛里亚说。“他本可以阻止暴乱的发生,但他没有。”

But as she headed into a church in Kenosha to vote, Phyllis Sheets, 60, said she was supporting the Democrats. Democracy, she said, depended on it.

但在前往基诺沙的一座教堂投票时,60岁的菲利斯·希茨说,她支持民主党。她说,这关乎民主存亡。

“I’m tired of people co-signing foolishness,” Ms. Sheets said. “It’s like people are drinking the silly juice around here: conspiracy theories, not conceding elections, QAnon, Jan. 6. It’s not American.”

“我烦透了人们一起为些蠢事壮声势,”希茨说。“感觉这里的人是喝了什么变傻果汁似的:阴谋论、不承认败选、匿名者Q、1月6日事件。这不是美国。”

Not everyone was thinking about this election, even as it was still unfolding. They were too busy talking about the next one, and news of a “very big announcement” from a Republican politician in Florida.

并不是所有人都在思考这次选举,即使它仍在进行中。他们忙着谈论下一次选举,以及佛罗里达州一位共和党政治人士将宣布的“重大消息”。

In Warren, Mich., Mike Smith, 58, had just one quibble.

在密歇根州的沃伦,58岁的迈克·史密斯只有一个抱怨。

“I hope he comes back sooner than 2024,” Mr. Smith said. “I still don’t accept 2020.”

“我希望他能在2024年之前回来,”史密斯说。“我还是不接受2020年的结果。”

Word that Donald J. Trump might soon make formal what has long been expected played out at polling sites across a polarized country to a mix of elation and fear.

唐纳德·特朗普可能很快就会正式宣告人们期待已久的事情,在这个两极分化国家的各个投票站里,这个消息激起的情绪有欣喜也有恐惧。

“I am terrified,” said Liz Lambert, 57, a marketing manager in Scottsdale, Ariz., clutching a coffee cup as she headed to work after casting her ballot. “This country has been through enough. We need stability and maturity and leadership.”

“我很害怕,”57岁的利兹·兰伯特说,她是亚利桑那州斯科茨代尔的一名营销经理,在投完票后拿着咖啡杯去上班。“这个国家已经经历了足够多的苦难。我们需要稳定、成熟和领导力。”

In Haymarket, Va., Gloria Ugbaja declined to get engaged by a possible Trump announcement about another run for president.

在弗吉尼亚州的干草市场,格洛丽亚·乌巴哈拒绝就特朗普可能宣布再次竞选总统的消息置评。

“I thought it was a distraction,” said Ms. Ugbaja, 47, who works in health care management.

“我以为这是一种转移视线,”47岁、从事医疗管理工作的乌巴哈说。

“Whether he announces or not is his business,” she said. “Every American has to keep moving forward. Whether he tries to run or not, it indirectly does not affect what the average American has to do on a daily basis.”

“他是否宣布是他的事,”她说。“每个美国人都必须继续前进。无论他是否参选,间接来说,都不会影响普通美国人的日常生活。”
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