Why Vote? Itís Your Duty!!!!!
The deed is done. I have trudged to my closest early vote precinct and cast my vote. I want to thank all those who have gone before me and fought for freedom. I also want to thank our Founding Fathers for their foresight and wisdom in creating such a government where each citizen can have a voice.
Most citizens don't give a second thought about heading to the local polling place. Honestly, three out of five people will not even make the effort to cast a ballot this primary election. My gut instincts tell me they are the people who probably complain the most about government and government services.
Years ago, I ran for the Maryland House of Delegates. I drove into the farm of one of my distant cousins to ask to place a sign in his field and for his vote. He said yes for the sign, then we got into a big discussion about how I was crazy to enter politics and how all of "them" were crooked and self centered.
Then he told me it was the reason he stopped voting years ago! What? I pointed my finger at his face and totally chastised him. His voice was of no account. I would not listen to his complaining. He had no right to complain. He was part of the problem!
Perhaps not the best "door-knocking" tactics, but typical of how "kinfolk" handle each other. A few days later I mailed him a voter registration card – figuring he would just throw it away or grumble about me under his breath. Truthfully, I was rubbing the wound with salt!
Two months later on Primary Election Day he walked up to me while I was working my home precinct. He had registered… just to vote for me! Pretty cool. It wasn't the only person I have registered to vote over the past 25 years, but it was a good story.
The first time I cast a vote I drove from University of Maryland College Park back to 5th District Elementary School in Upperco, 58 miles one way to do my duty as a citizen. I don't remember who was on the ballot at the time. It was the Primary Election of 1974. I do remember my Mom was an election judge and proud of her son.
My boys have had the opportunity to vote for their Dad. They grew up knowing and understanding the importance of not only voting but actively participating in the political system. They know the next step aside from casting a vote is rolling up your sleeves and working for change.
Each time I vote I have a small twang of patriotism well up inside me. I don't mind waiting in line. I take my civic duty seriously and have a little pride in our country when I leave.
Hope you do your duty and vote.