The Power of Your Vote

Day 27: 

Yesterday, my husband and I rode the 20 miles from our house to Burgaw to vote early. I was surprised and very pleased to see that the line was almost out the door—when we arrived and when we left.

One of the poll workers told me it had been that way all day long, and busy every day since early voting started. He said the first day they had 500 voters in Burgaw, and every other day at least 300 people had voted.

That was just in Burgaw – other Pender County early voting locations are in Long Creek, Rocky Point, Willard, and two places in Hampstead.

Those were such exciting statistics to me. I can remember when early voting was first introduced and very few people took advantage of it. If all the polling places have similar turnouts, I’d say that bodes well for a high voter percentage this year. And we have so much at stake.

“Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves, and the only way they could do this is by not voting.” –Franklin D. Roosevelt

That’s a scary thought. That our complacency could deprive us of a right and responsibility that we sometimes take for granted.

I think of all the people in other countries who have risked or lost their lives fighting for the right to vote—so many of them young people with only a vision for democracy. Even in our country, women and minorities had to fight for that right.

Now that we have it, we should use it.

I don’t intend to even suggest how you should vote—just that you vote. I agree with what superstar Taylor Swift said in a recent interview when she was asked about her political views.

“At 22, I have the right to vote. But I don’t feel I have the right to tell other people what to do.”

Even at my age, I don’t have the right to tell you how to vote. I just want to remind you what an awesome privilege and responsibility we have been given with that right.

“Now more than ever the people are responsible for the character of their Congress. If that body be ignorant, reckless, and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness, and corruption.” –James Garfield

How true. But even though that statement may fit America’s current state, it  wasn’t made recently.

It was published in 1877.

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