For all its faults and problems, until the last six years, this country, the United States of America, held elections where most people could vote if they wished to. There have been, and probably continue to be, pockets of problems where voting was made difficult by those who wanted things to keep the status quo. Still, the right to VOTE has been ingrained in our minds. But six years ago, we were told that the system had been rigged if an election didn’t go a certain way.
No one, not even the most jaded politician, would dare to have made such a suggestion before in the almost 250-year history of this country! Maybe in crowded, smoke-filled backrooms, but not a public forum. Why now? What has caused this problem is beyond my limited capabilities to explain. But, one thing is for sure, if we allow this sickness to continue to fester and grow, we will surely lose the right, the privilege to vote.
What can you or I do to keep this privilege alive?
We can help to get people registered to vote. We can choose to go to the polls and vote even when we want to stay at the house. We can stand in lines even though we’re tired and just want to go home and prop up our feet. We can get out of the mindset of, “Well, I’m just one vote. How is that going to make a difference?”
A few years ago, in our local mayoral election, the vote was so close that a recount was done to ensure every vote had been counted. The vote count had been correct, and though it was close, a winner was declared. In Virginia, a Republican and Democratic candidate for the state legislature were tied for that office. A recount was held. Same count the second time. Finally, their names were placed in a bowl, and whichever name was pulled out would be the winner. It made me wonder how many people had stayed home that day thinking, “I’m just one vote. What difference will it make?” It could have made a big difference to one of those people and the control of that state legislature.
Never think that your vote won’t matter! You might be just one of many voters, but your vote could be the tiebreaker. The right to vote should never be taken for granted. For example, Russians have the right to vote but have little choice regarding candidates. In Venezuela, an election was held, but the lost candidate refused to concede and continued to occupy the presidential office while the winner was ignored. That is a dictatorship, not a democracy.
This year is an off-year because no presidential candidates are running for office. The turnout has been low in previous years but not in 2018. I suspect the turnout will not be low this time. Because some fear this election cycle, roadblocks and obstacles have been put into place by legislatures who fear the people who will vote.This year will test our resolve to keep this right, this privilege, and we will VOTE!!
Finally, no whining or crying foul if your candidate loses. Instead, roll up your sleeves and vow to work for your candidate in the next election. If you don’t vote, you, sure enough, don’t get to whine or complain!! Call the DOJ Hot Line to file a complaint if you see something you feel is wrong when you vote. 202-514-1412
Barbara Tubbs Hill
Writer, counselor, perennial student and seeker of truth and spirit is an apt description for Barbara. Currently, Barbara is working on her first novel with two more planned for the future. Her first book, “Let’s Talk, What You Don’t Know About Credit Can Hurt You,” was written after fifteen years in a career than spanned collections, credit and mortgage lending. Barbara is glad to have been a part of getting the Indian Mound in Florence listed on the Alabama State Historical Register and soon the National Historical Registry. She lives in Florence AL with her husband Johnnie and two precious rescue dogs; Snookies and Daisy.