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Exercise your right to vote

Published: Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012 1:15 a.m. CDT

I lost my right to vote in March 2009. At least, that is the way the law is currently written. Because there was a revolution fought, in part, over “taxation without representation,” maybe, since I still pay taxes, there is a constitutional issue in there somewhere, but that is not the present reality. The rest of you outside of prison walls, however, can still vote.

In 1971, the 26th Amendment gave 18-year-olds the right to vote. I was 20 at the time, and I took my citizenship responsibilities seriously. Now I can’t. I can now neither serve, nor choose those who do. But you, dear citizen, can.

George Nathan, editor and drama critic, once said, “Bad officials are the ones elected by good citizens who do not vote.” Even if you feel your tiny voice is not heard nationally, your one vote can still count. You may not be able to influence the size of our nation’s budget or with whom we wage war, but you can decide whether potholes get filled and roads get plowed, whether stray animals are secured and children are educated, and whether those who judge and prosecute are wise in their use of power.

Young or old, rich or poor, Democrat or Republican, Green or independent, labor or management, public or private, religious or secular, your voice and your vote are important.

Keep democracy strong. Whenever you have the opportunity, remember to vote.

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