Tuesday, November 4, 2008
I'm 66 years old, and I have never missed a time to vote.
One time we lived in a state with a closed primary. When I went there, I registered as a member of one party, and when I went to vote in the primary, I found that there was no one on the ballot except for party committee members. In that state, if you were in my party you didn't get to vote for people who actually held office. All those people ran in the other party. The election was held in that party's primary. So I voted for committee people I didn't even know and who were unopposed.
From then on, whenever we went some place unfamiliar, I found out if that was likely to happen again before I went to register to vote.
Voting is a tremendous privilege. I knew a social studies teacher who used to say, not voting is a right too. He pointed out that the only places where they have 99 percent turnouts are dictatorships where everyone is forced to vote for the same person. In real democracies, some people chose to exercise their right NOT to vote.
But not me. I will vote today. In fact, I probably have already voted by the time you read this. And I hope you will do the same.
I love good stories. Elections are filled with good stories, stories such as the story of Barack Obama choosing to take time off the campaign trail to visit his grandmother, and then that beloved grandmother dying on the eve of the election where her grandson had already made history and will have made history even if he is not elected.
So I say again. It is your turn to be a part of America's story. It is your turn to vote in this historic election. I encourage you to vote.
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