VOTE: The power we hold

November 08, 2005

Voting is a right that every citizen of the U.S. acquires at the age of 18. Immigrants who become citizens can vote also - and should! So why isn't everyone who CAN vote out there voting?

To someone like myself, who has voted in every election since I turned 18, I don't understand the apathy of the people who do not vote. Some may argue that the lack of education is one reason for this. And though I agree that it may be the case to some extent, I honestly believe a lot more of it has to do with just plain laziness! How sad for our country, the memories of our forefathers and those men and women who died defending our beliefs, values and the Constitution of the United States of America!

This country was divided several times over the right to make our own laws, by and for the people, and with that the right of every single citizen to vote, from the date of our revolution, through the suffrage movement which became our 19th Amendment to the Constitution (ratified on August 26, 1920) to the Voting Rights Act of 1965 which strengthened the provisions of our 15th Amendment that held that

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.

So why when our latest battle on this issue was only strengthened by our government 40 years ago, think about that!, are so few of our population voting? A hundred years ago, I, as a woman, would not have been able to go and do what I did this morning - VOTE for my choices for government representation!

So close to the death of an amazing woman, Rosa Parks, who stood up for people of her race, how can it be that the projected amount of voters who will actually get off their asses and go vote is only 20-30% in such a huge political city as Boston? Yes, 20-30% voter turnout is the projection for today! Its not raining, snowing, there is no reason that should keep all of us from getting out and doing our civic duty, so what's the deal?

So many people bitch and moan about how they hate the politicians, the laws, the regulations, the taxes, but how many get off their asses and do anything about it? And it goes back to my piece on activism. Not everyone can be or should be an activist, but voting, once a year? What does that take time-wise? I walked to the school where I vote, 1/2 mile away and back in less than 1/2 an hour! How hard would it be to stop on your way to or from work/school/errands or to get up off your butt and go out to your voting venue and fill in some circles on a piece of paper?

Okay - you should know who and what you are voting for, what does one politician have over another that will make you vote for them? So yes, a little more time is involved - you should at least summarily review the campaign rhetoric of each candidate. If they have held public office then you can also find out what their voting records are on any given issue. Yup, takes a little time, but if you keep up with it, say weekly, what do you lose? Nothing, and potentially you gain insight, education into the way this city and country are truely run AND the true right to say 'I voted and I CAN bitch if I want to!' LOL!

So, if you haven't already and are reading this - get out there and vote please!

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