"In the United States, voter registration is the responsibility of the people, and only 70 percent of Americans who are eligible to vote have registered." (RegistertoVote.org)
Why is it that in a nation that fought a historic battle for independence - not to mention the right to representative self-government - so few of the people today actually exercise that right by voting? In a world where self-government and constitutionally-guaranteed individual freedoms are a rare and precious commodity, it beggars belief that people who have it do not appear to cherish it and fail to guard it vigilantly. The assumption seems to be that gains once made can never be lost. But history teaches another, grimmer, lesson.
"...that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth." Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address.
There is a lot of talk right now about a tiny cabal of extremely wealthy and influential people pouring billions into the upcoming election in order to ensure an outcome which will suit their own interests and not those of the people of the United States. In a democratic Republic, the idea that wealthy or religious elites could rise to such power and influence that they could establish a de facto feudal economic system and authoritarian theocracy - almost exactly the conditions over which this country fought the War of Independence - could only be possible if a majority of the people allow it to happen, through ignorance, through apathy, through intimidation.
But the American people are made of sterner stuff than that.
|Don't just stand there...do it!|
Make sure you are registered to vote. Don't assume that you are registered. During the primaries, thousands of people were shocked to discover that their names had been stricken from the voter lists without their knowledge. Florida has purged nearly 200,000 names from its voter list, including seniors and veterans. Pennsylvania is preparing to deny voting rights to nearly 10% of its eligible citizens.
Voter suppression threatens our Republic, but there are still enough voters to put a stop to it, if only every citizen who can vote, does so. There are as many eligible voters who do not vote as there are who do -more, in fact. Voter turnout could potentially be double what it has historically been. The current voter suppression tactics - ambitious though they undeniably are - would not disenfranchise enough people to overcome the will of the people if only the majority would take a stand, register now and vote in November.
Your vote counts. It really is that important.
Remind your friends and family to be sure to register and be sure to vote.
Resources for Eligible Voters:
Can I vote? Need help with voting? You've come to the right place. This nonpartisan web site was created by state election officials to help eligible voters figure out how and where to go vote. Choose a category below to get started.
Rock the Vote Rock the Vote is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization in the United States whose mission is to engage and build the political power of young people.
Our Time.org Declare Yourself is a national nonpartisan, nonprofit campaign to empower and encourage every eligible 18-29 year-old in America to register and vote in local and national elections.
League of Women Voters The League is proud to be nonpartisan, neither supporting nor opposing candidates or political parties at any level of government, but always working on vital issues of concern to members and the public.
Register To Vote. org In the United States, voter registration is the responsibility of the people, and only 70 percent of Americans who are eligible to vote have registered. RegistertoVote.org is a nonpartisan organization committed to reaching the remaining 30 percent. We simplify the voter registration process, making it faster and easier for you to get involved and become an active voice in our democracy.