by Diana Cihak
Tomorrow is election day across the country. And I doubt I need to tell the readers of this blog that in our lifetimes we have never faced a more important opportunity to cast a ballot and change the direction our country is headed in.
But still, too many times I hear people say things like “my vote doesn’t matter”.
That is patently untrue.
I have been involved in elections and campaigns for a long time and there have been numerous elections where I have seen a handful of votes decide who sits in office and makes decisions about your day to day life. One time it was a single vote cast that decided the outcome of a race. One vote!
But I think, even more importantly, is the symbolic power of your vote. Yes, there are those who are making it increasingly harder to vote. Purging voter roles, requiring onerous ID’s, arcane rules about when you can register.
But there was a time not so long ago when it was much, much harder to vote – especially for women.
Please take a moment to remember the women who literally fought for our right to vote. Who came under the force of police batons, were handcuffed with their hands hanging above their heads for hours, who were violently force fed in prisons teeming with rats and filth.
How can we say we are too busy to vote when our foremothers gave of their dignity, livelihood and at times even their lives, to fight for our right?
So can you do me a favor and as a gesture of thanks to them take a moment to:
- Decide when you will vote (morning, afternoon, evening)
- Decide how you will get to the polls
- Double check your polling location
- If you have not done so yet, look up who is running and at least do a quick run through of their campaign websites to make your informed choice
- Check to see if you significant other, children who are of age to vote, neighbors, etc… need a ride to the polls
Cast your ballot in honor of those Suffragists who were willing to die to give you the right and privilege to make this decision about who will represent you.