This article, by Kathryn Bullington, originally appeared on The Independent Voter Network Website. She details 50 reasons why you should vote, with a bit of history to back them up:
Voting binds us together.
What binds us together more than our history of striving for freedom, our bond of exercising our free will for a better life, or our rights guaranteed by our constitution?
What tool do we have to protect and maintain our freedom to live as we choose? Our vote!
Here are 50 reasons to use it:
- Democracy means “people-force.” When you don’t vote, ‘the People’ create a power vacuum.
- People power is the only thing that can keep tyranny at bay, though it is no assurance.
- As John Locke asserted, people are by nature, free. Voting is the natural right of the self-governed.
- To honor Founding Father Benjamin Franklin’s challenge to us all. Following the close of the Constitutional Convention, he was asked, “what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?”
He answered, “A Republic, if you can keep it!”
- If you don’t use your right to vote, you may lose your right to vote.
- “Without the vote of a free man, I am but a slave without power to make decisions.” – Gary Olson
- A vote in honor of Captain Nathan Hale, who said for you, “I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country.”
- Voting can make you Superman for one day, fighting for Truth, Justice, and the American Way!
- 65,000 people died or were wounded in the American Revolution, the start of what has been a great experiment in democracy.
“Freedom is a light for which many men have died in darkness.” – Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Philadelphia, Pa.
- So you can complain with integrity.
“Elections belong to the people. It’s their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the people and burn their behinds, then they will have to sit on their blisters.” – Abraham Lincoln
- Women suffragettes were jailed and force fed for 3 weeks for the right to vote.
- The 40 lives for freedom, lost courageously in the fight for minority rights to vote, enshrined in the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Will you give a vote for them?
- “The vote is the most powerful instrument ever devised by man for breaking down injustice and destroying the terrible walls which imprison men because they are different from other men.” – Lyndon Johnson
- In honored memory of JFK and Robert Kennedy and their roles in the Civil Rights Movement.
- To set a good example for younger generations.
- Because you’re 18. You can vote! Youth votes declined in 2012 to just over 40 percent of eligible voters.
“Old enough to fight, old enough to vote!”
- “You can vote for yourself, or someone you really like.” – Dillon McHugh
- “The ballot is stronger than the bullet.” – Abraham Lincoln
- We build our nation with votes. Vote local.
“This City Nation is what it is because our citizens are what they are.” -Plato
- If you don’t vote for your interests, who will?
- “A wise man will not leave what is right to the mercy of chance, nor wish it to prevail through the power of the majority.” – Thoreau
- Because you have researched your candidates and can make an informed vote.
- “Apathy gets you the government we have today.” -Gil Sery
- “If people won’t vote for good candidates…because we think they won’t win, why will good candidates continue to run?” -Eric and Rachel Jones
- Less than 50 percent of eligible voters cast a vote in mid-term elections.
- Only 60 percent of eligible voters vote in presidential elections.
- “Taxation without representation is tyranny.” – James Otis
- “To prevent instability, injustice, and faction.” -James Madison, Federalist #10
- To probe older folks for words of wisdom and life lessons. Over 70 percent of those 65 and older turn out to vote.
- The excitement of casting YOUR vote.
- The anticipation of waiting to see who wins.
- “Because the rest of us are depending on you.” -Marv DeBoy
- Because, “Men of factious tempers, of local prejudices, or of sinister designs, may, by intrigue, by corruption, or by other means, first obtain the suffrages, and then betray the interests, of the people.” -James Madison Federalist #10
- To organize ourselves, through our representatives, into ONE NATION.
- To guard against ‘unworthy candidates’ and the ‘vicious arts’ of politics. – James Madison, Federalist #10
- To “choose the most attractive merit and established characters.” – James Madison, Federalist #10
- “Democracy must be more than 2 wolves and 1 sheep voting on what to have for dinner. ” – James Bovard
- To vote for the lesser of two evils. – Mark Baland
How does the ‘lesser of two evils’ mentality affect your vote?
- To ensure representatives who are:
“…the medium of a chosen body of citizens, whose wisdom may best discern the true interest of their country, and whose patriotism and love of justice will be least likely to sacrifice it to temporary or partial considerations.” – James Madison, Federalist #10
- “It’s a right, a duty and an honor. It can make a difference.” – Doc Jesse
- To ensure a liberal tradition of free and fair elections, civil rights, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, and protection of private property.
- To honor the 2,852,901 U.S. citizens who gave their lives or have been wounded to protect the constitution that protects your right to self-determine your community, state, and nation.
- The 38,159 missing in action, awaiting a return home to their nation of equality, justice, and freedom.
- Our military protects us, but who protects them? YOU are their only defense. YOU can control, through votes and citizen action, how our 1,369,532 active duty service members are utilized.
- “We electors have an important constitutional power placed in our hands; we have a check upon two branches of the legislature.” – John Adams
- Casting a vote feels great!
- “Your silence gives consent.” – Plato
- Your vote is the beginning of a relationship with your representative that can bolster your role in your community.
- “Because their is hope for America.” – Duncan Webb
- There might be free food!