Residents must exercise their right to vote

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 26, 2005

In the last three years, I have had the honor of being eligible to vote in three elections. I live Tuscaloosa, so the most recent election I participated in was the mayoral election on Tuesday, Aug. 23.

Voting is always very exciting to me. It is one time when I know my opinion truly matters to others.

While there is a lot of debate in our area on the issue of voting, voting rights, voting fraud, etc., I continue to support the right to vote, and I encourage others to not give up on our political system.

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As a child, I remember going to the polls with my mother on election day. Witnessing voting at a young age taught me that each person can make a difference and that every voice does matter. Democracy is one of America’s greatest liberties.

Like many skeptics, it is sometimes hard for me to believe my one, single, solitary vote does count — especially when I’m voting for an office as big as the presidency. It is at that time that I must reassure myself that the system is legitimate.

Voting statistics from the last presidential election indicate that only 64 percent of American citizens ages 18 and over voted, and of that 64 percent, the majority were citizens age 65 and older.

Each time I have visited the polls, I have noticed that the poll workers are also those residents age 65 and older. Young people should play a bigger role in the election process in our small communities. It would not only give the older people a break, but it would also promote a more diverse interest in politics.

We often complain that our rights are being taken away, but many people don’t take advantage of the rights they have. When the next election rolls around, exercise your right to vote.