VOTE!

Even as I write this reminder to be sure and vote I realize millions already have. Regardless of which political party or candidate you support, it is encouraging that so many are voting in this election.  While probably much higher than past elections, the percentage of eligible voters who actually cast ballots will still be lower than it should.  I understand being unhappy with our choices for political office.  I often feel that way myself.  Often times it feels like I’m voting against someone or something as much or more than I am voting for someone or something. Campaigns have become long, noisy and expensive. Usually by election day we just want it to be over.  Hard to believe this is what our founders had in mind.  We have also found a way to make voting, and counting those votes, complicated and controversial. You would think with all our technology and advancements we’d have this down to a science.  Instead both political parties have teams of lawyers standing by to challenge the results if their side loses. I find it ironic that we send election observers to other countries to teach them how to run an election.  I guess it’s a case of do as we say and not as we do!  Still for all its faults and shortcomings, our democracy is still the best form of government in the world and it still depends on our participation.  That’s why voting is so important.  We may not like the personalities but we should care about the issues.  Whether on a national, state or local level, important issues are on the ballot.  So much of this election cycle has focused on our differences but elections should be about what we have in common.  We have the opportunity to express how we feel about the leadership and direction of our country by casting our votes.  It often feels like our vote won’t matter but it always does especially when an election is as close as this one appears to be.  Even if the outcome is not what you wanted it is still better to have participated and done your part rather than sit on the sidelines and be an armchair quarterback.  The other day my 10 year old grandson came home from school and told they learned about elections and voting in school that day.  He told me who he would vote for if he could.  He was excited and looked forward to being able to vote someday.  His enthusiasm reminded me of how we should feel about voting and how we should never take it for granted.

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