2004-10-22 / Editorial/Opinion

The Vote Is A Precious Thing To Waste

November 2 is Election Day. It is not too much to say that the day is one of the most important on the national calendar. Tens of thousands of people have given their lives since The United States of America earned its independence from England in the Revolutionary War so that we can go to the polls on November 2. We have heard all the excuses for not voting. “I’m not going to vote because I don’t like either candidate.” “I just don’t have the time, I’m much too busy.” “I’m not going to vote until African-Americans have equality.” “I don’t understand the issues, so it would not be fair for me to vote.” “I live in a large state, where my individual vote does not matter.” We have heard it all, and, as far as we are concerned, none of the excuses holds water. Each of us should have learned from the last Presidential Election that every vote counts. It is incumbent upon each of us who is eligible to research the positions on each of the candidates, to read and listen and to come to a reasoned decision for whichever of the candidates most closely fits your bill. In the last election, a little more than half of the eligible voters went to the polls. That is a scandal. In some nations, Australia for example, voting is mandatory and those who do not vote get fined if they cannot give a proper explanation for missing the election. We are not calling for such a law in the United States, but we are asking those who can vote to do so. Voting is the most basic right and the most basic duty of all citizens. Those who can vote and do not are letting down their fellow citizens as well as those who died to keep us free.

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