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Voting — a privilege and a duty

November 5, 2012
The Daily Freeman Journal

It's seemed like Election Day would never arrive. It's been a long haul. But there's still one thing Hamilton County residents need to do. Vote, if you haven't done so already. You can even register to vote at the same time, so there is really no excuse for not voting.

Whichever party or cause you decide to support, voting is one of the few opportunities you have to influence the decisions made in Des Moines and Washington for the next 2 to 4 years. Whether Republican, Democrat or some third party, make yourself heard by going to your polling place and making a choice to support the causes and policies that you think are best for the state and the country. Your right to make your voice heard in the halls of government has been fought for ever since the very beginning of this nation. Please don't take it for granted. Use it.

In the last year, we've seen people in the Middle East fight and die to have the right to vote for who they wanted to run their country. In the United States, voter turnout as a percentage of eligible voters is less than 60 percent since 1968 and less than 40 percent for non-presidential election years.

That's not to say that you should walk in, fill in circles on the ballot randomly and walk back out. You should take at least a few minutes to find out what the candidates stand for, and what their policies will mean for not only you but your community, your county, your state, and your nation. Being a voter is a right. Being an informed voter is a responsibility that you have in return for being a citizen of this great country.

If you've already voted or plan to vote, thank you. You will have fulfilled your duty as a citizen, but don't let that stop you from contributing to civic life until the next election. Get involved, stay informed, and hold your candidates responsible for their promises and their votes in Congress. We are responsible for what happens until the next election, if we want to be.



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