Did you use your right to vote?

By Patrick Fisher

By the time you read this the elections will be over and we’ll have chosen our leaders, nationally and locally.

At the national level, we’ll have chosen the president and members of Congress. That is barring any complications. Locally, we’ll have our next mayors, council members, county commissioners and state representatives. I have just one question: Did you use your right to vote?

As I’m writing this the polls have not yet opened, but you better believe I went and voted. This will be my fifth time voting in a presidential election and I’ve used that privilege each time. I’ve also used that right in the off-year elections. To me, voting is important, especially considering my family’s history. I have four uncles who served in different branches of the armed forces. Also, my family covers a wide range of the political spectrum, so growing up, and even today, I hear different viewpoints. With those differences, and also from what I’ve learned over the years, I’ve made my own decisions about the different subjects, created my own beliefs. Like many people I’ve used those decisions and those beliefs to help me out at the polls.

As it’s been said, voting is one of the cornerstones of our form of government. But it’s one that some people either take for granted, or they don’t think their vote will count.

As we've seen, every individual vote counts. I’d rather not have a future as envisioned by the science fiction writer Isaac Asimov. He wrote a short story where a computer would choose one person and, through a series of questions and answers from that person, the computer would use that information for a basis of how the general public would have voted for president.

Thankfully, considering that large numbers of people pre-registered and it was expected that many people were to register at the polls on Tuesday, I don’t think that future will be coming true anytime soon.

Minnesota has a tradition of high voter turnout. With all the new registered voters and more people expected to register on election day it's possible that voter turnout will again be in the 80-percent range.

While this has been a very big year for negative campaigning and I can understand those who just want to walk away from the nasty ads and not vote, that won't help matters. There was one race where there was so much negativity, I actually considered leaving the spot on the ballot blank. But not voting won't help matters, so choose one of the candidates.

If you want change you have to be interested, and the best way to show your interest is by going to the polls. That's what I did on Tuesday.

So, again I ask: Did you use your right to vote?

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