Voting in the Upcoming Election… Why Bother?

BY GEORGE M. STARK, P.A.

That which separates ours from totalitarian societies is the democratic process and an important aspect of democracy is voting.

We have all heard it before. As Americans, voting is not only our right, it is a privilege and our responsibility.

However, given the manner in which elections are conducted, which often transform into a media circus, the inordinate time that candidates spend raising money and the reality that once elected officials seem more concerned with feathering their own nest than working for the people, it is easy to understand why so many of us are disenchanted with the process and do not participate.

The quantifiable result of dissatisfaction with the election process is a reduced number of people casting their votes otherwise recognized as “voter apathy.” The following, although admittedly simplified, are reasons why even the most disenchanted among us should vote:

1. Your vote matters. There have been many elections decided by a single vote.

2. Vote to promote and defend your personal social agenda….the people we elect make laws that protect or restrict our social freedoms on controversial issues including race, gender, privacy, religion, access to the courts and the education of our children. By not voting, we abrogate those responsibilities whose social agenda may be dramatically opposed to ours.

3. Vote to protect your body…the people we elect will make laws dealing with such subjects as the right to life versus choice and the provision of medical care to those who could otherwise not afford it.

4. Vote to secure your safety….the people that we elect will address the practical realities of our time to provide an environment that is safe and secure from those who would harm us to promote their agenda.

5. Vote to keep your money…the people that we elect will determine how the taxes taken from us to run the government will be fairly allocated to provide necessary services…

6. Vote for those who fought for your right to vote…there was a time in the country when women, minorities and young adults could not vote. Many people worked hard and sacrificed to achieve these rights and would expect you to exercise them.

7. Vote for the next generation…the decisions that we make today will impact our children, grandchildren and the generations to follow. The people that we elect will necessarily make and enact laws that will affect their lives. Your participation in the process will encourage civil responsibility. While federal elections often garner the most interest, this year’s Florida ballot will address amendments to the Florida Constitution on such controversial subjects as the use of medical marijuana and the election of multiple law makers and governor who will appoint at least four supreme court justices during his tenure. While our electoral process is admittedly flawed an don’t without its detractors, your participation in the system entitles you to complain should you be dissatisfied with an elected official’s performance and support change which is keystone of democracy as it was envisioned by our forefathers.

Published on: Jun 2, 2016