We citizens of the United States all have a responsibility in fulfilling the duty that we have been given to be a citizen of this country. The responsibility that we each have is to vote. I don’t mean to vote on occasion but to vote if you can in every election. The last time I checked each election counts. Democrats are particularly suspect when it comes to voting. They love to vote in presidential election cycles but they tend to stay home in off-year elections. What is up with that?

The failure to vote is particularly irritating when you think about how so many sacrificed their lives, their fortunes and their reputations to ensure that we have the right to vote. Many countries would love to have a representative democracy. We have one and if we are to keep it, each and every citizen should be involved or we will lose the rights that we have. Some of you might think that losing our rights can’t happen or they don’t believe that it matters. Well, get a grip and look around you at countries that have dictatorships. It might make it easier to have a dictator but a real dictator will not allow dissent. Look at the problems in Hong Kong or the extremism that we see in the Middle East. That could be us if we do not treasure what we have.

Each election we hear the same excuses. We hear that it does not matter if you vote or not, or that they don’t have time or you on occasion hear from a prospective voter that they do not know enough about the candidates or issues on the ballot to vote intelligently.  Each of us owes to ourselves the effort to be an informed voter. At night or on a weekend how much time and effort would it take to become informed about the candidates or the issues?

You might have noticed that I used the word excuse rather than a reason. I can understand if a person has a legitimate reason, for example someone died in the family or that they were sick. But honestly many states have made it a lot easier to vote. There are very few reasons that can honestly explain away why a person has not voted.

If any of you complain about how things are not working in Washington you have a perfect right to do so. But do something about it, get involved, protect your rights by not delegating them away to those who do vote but who you might disagree with. If enough of you who might disagree with what is going on would only vote the outcome might indeed be different. If you are a woman or a person of color, you have reasons to vote. For young people out there, it is your future that is on the line. If you want a decent wage after you graduate, or a decent job you just might want to vote and make a difference. Your vote or by not voting, your life and future may be impacted by the result of an election.

Local elections in your town or community can and are real exercises in democracy at work. Change is easier to see on a local level. A positive result might see your city or state use the example of local success and have the idea spread state-wide and then it can happen nationally.

In the future we should make it even easier for a person to vote. Make election day a holiday or have it take place over a weekend instead of a Tuesday.

Election day is two weeks away. Voting is each citizen’s birthright. Be responsible and vote! Each Election Counts!!!!


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