Monday, May 9, 2011

You Have a Right to Vote

“You were born in the back seat of America,
And you pride yourself in sharing her.
Taught to work to please and pray on your knees.
You pay for your cheap grace with your nominal fees.

Oh, you try to change the news with your TV remote.
You got the freedom to choose, but you choose not to vote.
Better heal yourself, child –
Heal yourself.”

Heal Yourself by Ruthie Foster.

About 55 million votes were cast for last American Idol’s top 12 contestants. For most elections, about 80-100 people million vote for government office holders. It is really amazing to me that half of this country votes for a television show rather than vote for the person who will run this country. I suppose it’s all about priorities.

Every year the people working for candidates fight like hell to make sure people vote. Perhaps if we ran political campaigns like American Idol we might have more success. Perhaps if governmental candidates sang and wore silly costumes rather than make stump speeches more people would be interested. Or maybe people just don’t realize they have a voice.

The sad part of this is that after everyone who has fought and died for the freedom to vote, so little people acknowledge their ancestor’s suffering for their right to go to the voting booth and push some buttons. It is a small task that takes so little of your time, but the consequences are so great. Please remember that Mr. Obama cannot get the pothole filled on your street, but the councilperson or supervisor for your town can. Yet these are the races that fly under the radar screen for about 80% of voters.

More people vote for the President of the United States because I guess there is so much in the news about that race. However, there are elections more than just every four years. This year we have elections for municipal, school board, judicial, and county races. These races are the ones that should get all the attention. The people who are voted into office this election are the ones that have more impact on our daily lives that the president. Yet only about 15% of voters typically come out for these types of election.  They are the ones who choose our local politicians.

So exercise your right to vote on May 17, 2011 and go to your polling place and vote for who is going to go to the “finals” in November. Let’s hear your voice about who you think can make a difference on the local level.

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