To the Editor:
There are lots of reasons not to vote. It takes effort to find time, to dress and get out of the house, to find transportation to the voting place, to stand in line, and to figure out the process.
People say, “I don’t know what they really think, I don’t know whom to choose.” And how do we find out about candidates? We have good newspaper coverage in the Daily Journal, but how many people get the newspaper? We can go to candidate forums, if they happen or if we find out about them in time. Hopefully, we can find some valid information. We can always just vote party line if we have a favorite party. But vote we must, to preserve our system of government!
The basics are: first, find out who is running, and second, find out where and when we can vote. Once you get as much information as you can, make a list of whom you think deserves your vote. Second, get there! For those needing a ride, consider calling a friend, neighbor, or 211 to see about a ride. Then go!
It is essential to express your opinion. Every voice matters. Are you young, old, or somewhere in the middle? You matter. Are you rich or poor or somewhere in the middle? Your vote matters. Your vote matters regardless of race, religion, or political ideas.
Do you need help at the polls because of visual, literacy, or other limitations? “A voter may designate a relative or friend to assist them at the polling place. If the voter requests assistance but does not designate someone else to help them, two poll workers (one from each political party) will be available to assist. Those assisting a voter must complete the Affidavit of Voter Assistance at the Polls, available at the polling station, before entering the voting booth.
In short, there are burdens involved in voting. But your vote matters, and it is worth solving the practical problems. I remember the very first time I was eligible to vote and was out of town. I raced to get home, get to the polls and vote in my first presidential election. But I was the first person turned away because the polls had closed. I vowed, and I have kept that vow for many years, to never miss voting again, even when it was hard.
Please, this year, let us all take our privilege of voting to heart – learn what you can, plan, get there somehow, and vote!
Karen Altergott Roberts