Many of us have received our mail-in ballots. If USPS isn’t your preferred means of voting, you can go to your polling location, wait in line, walk in, say hi, sign in, and vote. I don’t care how we vote, but I do care about choosing public officials and policy by an actual vote of the people. We, the people, do that by voting.
The top benefits of becoming a U.S. citizen, besides access for reuniting families, are to vote, travel freely, serve on a jury, get a government job, and run for office.
Many of us, who are lucky enough to be citizens by default, don’t vote, complain profusely if a jury notice arrives in the mailbox, never choose to run for office or work at a government job, and take travel in and out of the country for granted.
The Census Bureau breaks down the statistics on voting by sex, age, and every conceivable ethnicity. Combine them all, which is what matters, and over the years it is common for 50% of citizens not to vote. What? We might as well be permanent residents or illegals.
Why not take advantage of our rights? Men and women have fought and died to preserve these rights.
I too have thought my votes don’t matter, but I vote anyway. My Purple Heart WWII veteran dad never missed voting, even when he couldn’t see the ballot because of Macular Degeneration. He walked the walk.
John Lewis, politician and civil rights activist, said, “The vote is the most powerful nonviolent tool we have.”
I believe he was saying, we can scream, protest, kill, fight, degrade, destroy, or we can vote. Voting is more powerful than violence.
Voting is our way to have a voice. Saying the words is one of the primary skills for achieving and maintaining mental wellness. Voting for or against the people and laws we believe will help our families, communities, and country is a form of having our voices heard.
My dad, God bless him, would say, “Voting is more than a right. It is a responsibility.” I fear we are losing the foundation of those dedicated, proud individuals who vote because it is the root of our democracy; those who value our rights and do the right thing.
Closing with a quote by FDR (Franklin D. Roosevelt) “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.”
It’s time to vote!
Until the next time: Live while you live.
Jennifer Goble, Ph.D., LPC, is the author of “My Clients…My Teachers,” and the blogger and writer of Rural Women Stories: www.ruralwomenstories.com.
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