Tuesday, November 6, 2012

I'm Voting

Well it's finally here, Americans - Election Day 2012. It feels like just yesterday I was casting my vote in my first election in 2008.. where has the time gone? Without a doubt, the nation will be focusing today on the question, "Who are you voting for?" But today I will be focusing on the question, "Are you voting?"

Without voter turnout, what would it matter what party you vote for? What would it matter who was running? What would it matter what was at stake?

So, instead of writing today about who I am voting for and why, I will simply say this: I'm voting.

People scough at those who go on and on about how it is our right as Americans to vote, and how meaningful an opportunity this is for citizens - but what act aside from voting truly demonstrates the freedom that we have here in this country?

To truly appreciate our ability to vote, we must look to the elections around the world where not only can election results be unfair, but people risk being threatened with physical harm if they vote a certain way, or vote at all.

Take Egypt for example: it took the Arab Spring to gain ground in the fight for civil liberties for Egypt's citizens. Hundreds killed, homes and businesses destroyed, and people left out in the streets - all in the name of freedom for citizens under an oppressive government. But in June 2012 Egyptians celebrated their triumphs by voting in only the second election in history of Egypt to have more than one candidate on the ballot. And I bet that the moment was not lost on many.

As we Americans watch countries around the world continue to struggle to attain the same freedoms that we are accustomed to here, we should not forget that it has not always been this way. We, too, have revolted several times across the span of our nation's history in order to earn and protect the freedoms that we are afforded as citizens of the United States.

In this country, voting should be both a time of celebration, and of reverance, giving thanks to all of those who helped give us the right to stand in the two hour line, fill out a single sheet of paper, and place it in the ballot box - and to change the course of our nation one vote at a time.


Did you?


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