Is it just me or does it sometimes seem futile to vote? If you listen to the news – liberal or conservative – the pundits will tell you that Georgia is a solidly Republican state and Florida and Ohio are up for grabs, one of several “battleground states”. Even the candidates come to our state and fundraise, telling us they will use our money to mobilize voters in the “important” states.
It seems to me that these types of predictions and comments cause a lot of folks to think their vote doesn’t matter. No wonder we have such a problem with voter apathy in this country. Unless you happen to live in one of about 5 states, you are told repeatedly that one candidate or the other is for sure going to win. So why bother? I have to admit, it can be discouraging.
To all you folks out there who think your vote doesn’t count or that one vote doesn’t really make any difference, I hope you will get MAD at the way the pundits and candidates are trying to control the election and your right to representation in this country. Every vote makes a difference by telling the candidate that you support them or not. I voted yesterday and there were several unopposed candidates I did not vote for. Sure, they will win anyway, but the number of votes they receive will give them an indication of how much support they have. The same is going to be true in every race on the ballot; the numbers are important and that means every vote is important. I promise you the pundits will be looking at those numbers closely over the next few months and years.
There are also several issue related votes on the ballot. We citizens are being allowed to tell our local and state government how we feel about charter schools, SPLOST and alcohol sales on Sunday. Each vote is important and we should never assume our vote doesn’t count in these elections. Your vote is a direct order to the government to act in a certain way. To all you folks who haven’t registered to vote – your apathy will have a bigger impact on the future of our country than you may realize. By not voting, by not participating in the process, you are allowing the pundits and a limited few citizens to choose your representatives and to decide issues that affect you every day. SPLOST is a perfect example – just because you don’t vote doesn’t mean you won’t pay the extra penny tax (or not) every time you buy something or pay a bill.
We live in the greatest country in the world and one of our greatest freedoms is the ability to be heard through the ballot box. Democracy works when the people participate in the process. We cannot abdicate our responsibility and then complain about the results.