Thursday, November 06, 2014
The Privilege to Vote!
This past Tuesday, November 4, was another big voting day in the United States. I did not vote for members of the county school board, because I did not find enough information with which to make my decisions. On other offices, I cast my votes. I voted for two Democrats and the rest are Republicans. I tried to vote on the basis of record and ability, as far as I could discern by reading and listening.
Voting is a terrific privilege. American women have been voting since my grandmothers' days, so I have no quarrel about women's right to vote. African American men have been voting for generations, undergoing resistance in certain states, a wrong that was righted by the 1965 Voting Rights Act in the U.S.. These days, I hear no objection to the fact that all registered voters that are American citizens aged 21 and older have the right to vote that is protected by law. I am not against voter ID, since we need IDs for almost everything important in this age.
Many countries now have voting as a new institution and one very much valued. Some have risked their lives around the world to go to voting polls, to be identified as someone casting votes, and to hope for better days. I admire them immensely.
An "I voted" sticker was given to me after I voted in my neighborhood, and I wore mine all day, noticing that other voters wore theirs too. Camaraderie went all around, regardless of political parties. I enjoyed a couple of conversations outside the voting area, and one man influenced one of my votes for Orphan's Court judge. He made a convincing argument for a Democratic candidate seeking a return to that seat.
I always think especially of my parents on voting days. They set a good example for me when I was growing up. This is what I noticed: (1) they voted in every local, state, and federal election, (2) they never "bashed" anyone running for office of any party, although they did occasionally mention their preferences, and (3) they were happy to express their preferences through their votes. I get that same refreshed feeling after I vote.
I am grateful for the British Magna Carta, which began the development of constitutional law and voting rights in their historic infancy. That document made a vitally important beginning almost 900 years ago (1215 AD/CE)!
The residents of a local retirement center put up with all of us who are assigned their building as our voting place, second floor, right turn. In return, I detect that many voters try to be respectful of the residents' space. I enjoy seeing some of the wise elders reading in an open sitting area or leaving the building with friends or family. After voting, I hope! Smile.
Labels: African American voting rights, candidates, political parties, voting, voting rights, Voting Rights Act of 1965, women's right to vote
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