For many years I’ve heard that it is a privilege to vote, and that it’s a right to vote, and that it’s a duty to vote. And I agree with all three of those appraisals. I’m not suggesting that we should get legalistic and fine people or throw them in jail for not voting (and I’ve visited at least one country where that used to be the case), but I do think that as citizens we should exercise our right to vote.
Exercise our right to vote, enjoy the privilege and fulfill our duty.
While driving to the designated polling place this morning, I was thinking about what it means to be able to cast a vote. Someone has probably told you that voting gives you the right to complain, but it’s so much more than that… my vote gives me a say in the decisions that are made on my behalf by the people we elect to make those decisions.
It doesn’t really matter at what level the elections are held: local, state, or national; the decisions made on Election Day will impact each of us for years to come. My votes this morning were cast for the position of mayor and two seats on the city council. I live in a small town so there probably won’t be a lot of coverage, except on an inside page of the local paper, but these people will make decisions that impact my family and my neighbors. Some places are voting for Governors and other officials at the state level, and everyone of these races is important. Every vote counts.
Having served in the military, I understand what a responsibility and honor it is to be able to defend the rights that we have as Americans. Brave men and women are serving in faraway places today so that I can sleep well, knowing that I’m being protected. These men and women in uniform are serving so that we will continue to have the freedom to vote, to worship, to pick the job or school that we are interested in.
When I vote I may be exercising my right, enjoying my privileges, or fulfilling a duty, but I’m also doing something just as important: I’m sending a signal to our military members that I appreciate their service on my behalf; I’m saying thanks to those who keep my country free.
Won't you join me in saying thanks? Make the time, take the time to vote!