Right to vote purchased by blood

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 19, 2004

If you intended to register to vote in the June 1 Democratic Primary, the deadline passed. You have missed out on a very precious opportunity.

Why was it so important to take advantage of this opportunity?

Because right now, on the other side of the world, our men and women are fighting to protect our right to vote in a free and just election – and to give a people who haven’t experienced that privilege the ability to do so.

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We, as a nation, tend to take things for granted on so many levels.

Case in point: Low gas prices. Until the past few years, we have enjoyed extremely low (at least on a global scale) gasoline prices. The rest of the world, however, has had to pay upwards of $2, $3, even $4 a gallon for some time. Now, we’re having to pay the same.

And while that may seem unrelated, it really isn’t.

We’ve had the right to vote since our country's inception. At least in principle. It wasn’t until we, as a nation, grew up and realized the error of some of our ways that we entitled all of our citizens to vote. White, black, male, female – and yes, even teenager.

And while so many teenagers are about to embark on the next big step in their journey through life, they need to be encouraged to vote. For most, this will be the first election they’ve had the opportunity to take part in.

They’re the ones who should really be excited. The first election is quite special.

But it’s their parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles who should also be excited. Simply to have the ability to express our opinion, and let it be known by a simple vote.

Of all our traditions and legal rights, is there anything more powerful than the simple vote of one person?

Think about this folks, in the last Democratic Primary, one commission race was separated by just under 20 votes.

So for those people who believe their vote doesn't count, we say wrong.

That is the lazy way out of doing your civic duty.

So for those who haven't registered, we would suggest that you go to the courthouse on Monday and see the ladies in the Voter Registration office.

And then be prepared to vote in upcoming elections.

Your right and your vote have been bought by blood and there is no higher price than that.

Get off the couch and go.

Call a friend and if they haven't registered yet, take them with you. Just go.

One more reason you need to vote is a simple one.

If after the election, things go south and you start complaining, someone might ask if you voted.

When you say you didn't vote, they might just tell you to shut up!

And they would be right.

Register today!