“Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves. And the only way they could do this is by not voting.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt
Tomorrow, Tuesday, Nov. 8, is Election Day in the United States. All ballots across the country will include the opportunity to vote for the next president of this great nation. The number of additional voting choices will vary according to the place of residence of the voter.
For those of us who are registered voters, it is our obligation to be informed of the issues at hand, show up at the polls and vote according to our preferences. With access to the internet so prevalent these days, learning what’s on our specific ballot is generally a matter of just a few clicks away. And learning where to vote is equally as accessible.
“Choose some well-respected men from each tribe who are known for their wisdom and understanding, and I will appoint them as your leaders.” – Deuteronomy 1:13 NLT
Sadly, according to the Pew Research Center, the United States lags most of its peers around the globe in voter turnout, landing 31st among the 35 countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, most of whose members are highly developed, democratic states.
U.S. turnout in the 2012 presidential election was 53.6%, based on 129.1 million votes cast and an estimated voting-age population of just under 241 million people, Pew Research Center data indicates. Looking at the most recent national elections in OECD countries, the highest turnout rates were in Belgium (87.2%), Turkey (84.3%) and Sweden (82.6%). (Voting is mandatory in Belgium and Turkey.)
Yet, the other two of the top five countries without mandatory voting, Denmark and South Korea, far exceed the number of actual voters in the United States with 80 percent of their registered voters casting ballots in the latest elections.
Don’t let your opportunity to vote Nov. 8 fall out of your list of priorities that day. Know the issues and show up to vote.
And remember to verify your proper voting site in advance. As one who voted early last week, I saw two people turned away after waiting nearly two hours in line because they were at an incorrect voting location.