Your vote matters: Why you should head to the polls on election day

Categories: News, Politics

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Editor's note: Election day is near, and if you haven't voted early, you have decisions ahead of you, not the least of which is whether to vote at all, as Josiah Hesse postulates in "Your vote doesn't matter: Why there are better things to do on election day." Hesse's colleague, Chris Utterback, takes the opposite position. Here are his thoughts.

When it comes to one person making a difference, it's true that neither Mitt Romney nor Barack Obama would stoop to pick up your vote -- or that of your friends, your family or your bowling league -- if they were all lying on the ground.

For the most part, with the Electoral College system we have in the United States, the impact of a solitary vote seems almost too pathetic to be funny.

But not always. Don't forget that Florida, and the entire 2000 election, was carried by 537 single votes -- 537 votes that even today are hotly contested. And that's why politicians in many states, including Colorado, have lined up to relentlessly purge voter rolls and mandate ID checks. They know well the power of a few votes.

Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler has been at the forefront of this movement, as he has tried to ferret out a handful of illegal immigrants who may have voted in years past.

And then there was a syndicated op-ed by voter ID law pusher Hans von Spakovsky, who attributed a Missouri election decided by one vote to fifty Somalis fraudulently pulling the lever. An investigation by a judge, however, turned up not a single fraudulent vote.

But that won't stop people like von Spakovsky and Gessler from treating the act of voting as a privilege rather than a right.

That's why the simple act of going to the polls this year will make a statement against intimidation and obstruction. How sad the situation in our country is when voting itself becomes tantamount to an act of civil disobedience.

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The people we're up against don't care that in five years of investigation by President Bush's Department of Justice, concrete evidence of true and willful fraud was scant. They don't care that federal court judges have repeatedly recorded their absolute befuddlement as to the purpose of this campaign against voting. (In Chicago, Diane P. Wood of the Seventh Circuit said, "I find this whole prosecution mysterious." The panel that struck down a voter-ID law in Texas said the law imposed "strict, unforgiving burdens on the poor.") They don't care that citizens are given the right to vote without intimidation or roadblocks.

Continue to read more reasons why your vote matters.

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RobertChase topcommenter

Vote, but do not vote for any member(s) of the Democratic or Republican Parties that destroyed American Liberty and transformed "the land of the free" into the world's leading jailer!   I endorse Amendments 64 & 65.  I urge a vote of no confidence in our criminal injustice system by voting not to retain any judge on the ballot


Remember: Don't just vote the top of the ticket. Vote the local races, too. They matter and are often decided by a small number of votes, as the CD2 example above shows.


A single individual's vote may or may not decide a race, but a lot of individuals' votes? That's an election. Or, to give another analogy, no single snowflake is all that special, but together? Now you've got a ski run - or an avalanche.

davebarnes topcommenter

You should not head to the polls on "election day".

You should vote early by mail/drop off.

Way more convenient.

54% of the voters have already cast their ballots and have had them counted in Colorado.

michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

 @rain Like the post, Rain. We're going to make it an upcoming Comment of the Day. Congrats.


 @davebarnes Meaning election day will have less than half the people at the polls. I like voting on election day, take off work, smoke a bowl, and vote like it means something, it's fun.

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