The U.S. Presidential Election – A Message to Citizens of the United States
Before You Complain...
In November, citizens of the United States will be given the opportunity to do something that many people who live in other countries would be willing to risk their lives to do. As you might have guessed, I’m talking about voting in a free and open democratic election.
Even in America, the right to vote has not always been granted to all of its citizens.
Only after the Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified in 1870 was it illegal to deny citizens the right to vote based on race, color, or previous condition of servitude.
And, it wasn’t until 1920, when the Nineteenth Amendment was ratified, that all women were given the right to vote in the United States.
Furthermore, only after the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan in 1986 were U.S. Citizens that were members of the seven Uniformed Services, the Merchant Marine, their family members, and other U.S. citizens residing outside of the United States given the legal basis to register to vote and vote by absentee ballot in federal elections.
In fact, some U.S. citizens are still prevented from voting (e.g., convicted felons in some states, citizens under the age of 18, citizens who don’t meet residency requirements, etc.)
Even though many people have fought for their right to vote in the past, many U.S. citizens still choose not to.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, only 64% of voting-age citizens voted in the November 2008 election.
That means that 36% of voting-age citizens did not exercise their right to vote.
I’d speculate that if these citizens were told that they couldn’t vote, they would be up in arms, saying that they were being discriminated against.
In my opinion, voting is not only your right as a citizen of the United States; it is your duty to vote.
I’m not arguing that you should vote for one candidate over the other. In fact, if you don’t like any of your choices, choosing to cast a ballot with no vote or a write-in candidate is perfectly acceptable.
I think of voting as the price that you pay in order to complain about what is happening in the country. If you don’t vote, I don’t think that you have the right to complain.
Therefore, this is my message to citizens of the United States: Cast your ballot in November or quit your bitchin’.