Most people don’t realize that voting is both an honor and a privilege. In some other countries people don’t have the option to vote. Often times they go to the polls to cast their ballot and there’s only one name to choose from (Historically Russia’s Mikhail Gorbacev.) It’s a take it or leave it situation where the only possible outcome is getting that person. Yea or nee, it doesn’t matter what the people think, what they want or don’t want. That one person on the ballot is what they get. These people wish with all their hearts that they were able to choose the person they wanted to represent them. We get that chance!

We get to vote for the person of our choice. In most races there are two names or more on the ballot, even in the Primary. If we want to be represented by someone who believes in the same things we do, understands us and has proven themselves by keeping his/her word and done what they promised in the past then we must vote for him/her.

Sadly, the truth is, less than sixty percent of the nation is registered to vote. Less than half of these people go to the poles. That leaves only about thirty percent of registered voters making the decisions. If it’s snowing hard, it’s raining with gusty winds making stepping outside your door a hardship or if it’s absolutely miserably cold, that thirty percent could drop to nearly half. Now we have about fifteen percent of voters deciding on who will represent the masses. It shouldn’t be that way, but it is.

People like to say, “It’s only one vote. How much could it really mean?” The reality is that if enough people say and think that problems ensue. The answer can be found in the 2000 presidential election when the tallies were so close that multiple recounts were done. In some local races people have lost by one and two votes. A few years ago in McHenry County, Illinois there was a race that was decided by a coin toss when the candidates had equal vote counts.

Something to think about is how we react to the outcomes. When an official does something we don’t like, everyone complains. We hear, “How did that person even get on the ballot? I don’t like their new policy. That person is no good.” We hear all of these complaints. What we don’t hear is someone being truthful. We don’t hear someone admitting, “I didn’t vote. I’m not registered. So I can’t really complain about it.  If you didn’t vote you have absolutely nothing to complain about. By not voting, you allowed him
/her to win.

If you live in Illinois, remember that the polls open at 6 a.m. this Tuesday (March 18, 2014) and close at 7 p.m. remember that every day men and women in uniform give their lives for freedom. If we don’t vote you are throwing that freedom away. So please “Go out and vote!”

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