Vote — It’s Not a Right, It’s a Responsibility

Today, make your voice heard by heading to the polls. Find your polling place, and exercise your right to be an active participant in your government.

When I hear about millions of Afghanis or Iraqis who risk their lives to go to the polls, not just to vote for a candidate, but to vote for their confidence in democracy, it depresses me to see that close to half of voting-age Americans don’t vote in presidential elections. In midterm elections, on average only about 40 percent of us show up.

Democracy only asks one thing from you in return for the freedom, prosperity and security we Americans often take for granted: Vote.

American soldiers and Iraqi and Afghani citizens have died for the right to vote. My ancestors fought in our own revolution so I can vote today. To me, not voting is a cavalier dismissal of the sacrifices these people made so we can live in a society where our voices matter.

I get why people are discouraged with government these days. I know I am. Two years after we were promised change is Washington, we still don’t have climate legislation or immigration reform. If anything our government has become more partisan and our politicians have become more intractable.

But that’s not an excuse to give up. Even though one-quarter of votes in the Afghani presidential and parlimentary elections were thrown out because of fraud in the Afghan presidential election. When Iraqi voters were intimidated and threatened with violence if they went to the polls, they didn’t give up.

As Americans who enjoy freedom of speech and religion, freedom from illegal searches and seizes, the right to bear arms and equal protection under the law it is our responsibility to uphold the government that guarantees these rights.

I vote to honor those who have died to protect or get the ability to vote. I vote because my government — even in it’s current state — protects my freedom to do, say and be whatever I dream. I vote because I believe that I owe it to everyone who doesn’t have a voice to exercise my right express mine.

And I’m asking you to vote too, just like Afghanis and Iraqis and me, because you believe in democracy.

iStockPhoto
By Emily V.

57 comments

ann r.
Ann Rafkin3 years ago

You have NO right to complain or bitch about this government or the laws of this country if u do not take the. Time to get information and VOTE.

Will Rogers
Will Rogers3 years ago

I will not be happy till I see computers take politicians jobs. They can replace me and you with computers, then why not them?
We should be voting for policies, not politicians. They have become our masters instead of our servants and put themselves in place of kings, and we revere them and put them on a pedestal, so then they act accordingly and we are surprised! And it's not as if the best ones win! It's a popularity contest played by the most unpopular people but because it's usually a two party democracy we have to choose the best of the worst. So we have finance ministers that know nothing about Finance! And people in charge of foreign policy that can't even understand basic geography!
We need direct democracy where we vote for policies and not politicians, via computers, lottery machines whatever!
Politics is a pernicious meme that has infiltrated our societies, a throwback to feudal times when the kings and the lords of the manor could have you killed, and they could send your children to war because of the squabbles of kings.

Akin Adelakun
Akin Adelakun5 years ago

Really interesting. Thank you.

Berenice Guedes d.

This is always a big responsility

Sue Matheson
Sue Matheson5 years ago

it's very much a responsibility.

Patricia Geller
Patricia Geller5 years ago

Voted and will continue, thanks

jane richmond
jane richmond5 years ago

Always!

Halonnah Sutton
Halonnah Sutton5 years ago

the american dream baby!

Past Member
Lori D.5 years ago

Only one person I ever voted for won an election. I voted against Bush, but some miracle happened in the recounting BS and he won. This year they let crooks run for offices - and I know of one that won - who should never have been allowed on the ballot. Do I believe in voting? I'm leaning no.

Marianna B M.

noted