Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Let Your Voices Be Heard

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Let Your Voices Be Heard

Article excerpt

In approximately three weeks, the U.S. will go to the polls to elect our next president. This has been one of the most controversial elections that I can recall in my life. Both major candidates are polarizing figures, both have their share of character flaws and both have engaged in questionable moral -- and perhaps even illegal -- activity. But this is not the point of my column. My message today to every eligible voter is simple: Vote.

You have heard and will probably hear from various pundits on all sides of the political spectrum many reasons why you should not vote -- why your vote is a waste of time or why you should not take part in a shameful election or that your vote doesn't matter. It won't make a difference. Don't believe them. Your vote counts. Your vote counts if for no other reason than it counting for you. It is your time to tell the candidates and the nation that you matter, that your voice cannot be ignored or muzzled.

I have been angered and repulsed repeatedly throughout this election cycle. So what is my recourse? My recourse is to vote, to take my stand and say this is who I want to be our next president. If you don't like the major party candidates, then vote for someone else. Or write in the candidate you think should be president. The idea that your vote has to be "effective" or "strategic" is a fallacy. You are voting because it is your constitutional right as a U.S. citizen to do so. That is enough, you don't need any other justification.

However, for women and people of color, there might be an additional reason to vote. To honor those who came before you fighting for the right to allow you to go to the polls in November. One of the many reasons for studying history is to know the story of our nation and the sacrifices and challenges we have faced in the last 240 years. …

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