If you don’t vote, don’t dare complain

Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 1, 2015

Next year’s presidential election has the makings to be one of the dirtiest, most divisive ever.

That’s saying something. Many of us are already sick to death of the misconstrued facts, the arguing and the nastiness among candidates and candidates’ supporters.

It’s enough to make us want to withdraw from it all and simply not participate.

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But we can’t do that.

Some supporters of Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders are grumbling now that, if Sanders doesn’t win his party’s nomination, they simply won’t vote.

That would be laughable, if it wasn’t so wrong.

We need only say the words Al Gore and Florida to understand just how much single votes count.

An organization called the Partnership for Safety and Justice on its website safetyandjustice.org published these seven reasons why we should vote. I think they are worth repeating here.

1. Voting is a way to speak your mind, to let your voice be heard. Your vote is your voice.

2. One voice, one vote really does count. Remember, there is power in numbers. If you don’t vote for what you believe in, others will. You may not like the outcome.

3. Our children are depending on us to represent their voices, too. Because our children can’t vote, we have to do it for them. That’s how we make our concerns about schools, safety, housing and other issues heard. When we vote, we are looking out for our children and their future.

4. Voting changes communities. Do you ever wonder why your neighborhood gets passed over for things it needs while another seems to get it all. One big reason is voting. When we vote, we get results that we can actually see.

5. Vote to effect change. It was through election that we voted in officials who were champions for civil rights. Voting is our chance to make a difference in our own lives and within the world.

6. Voting is a way of honoring our history. As long as our country has existed, there have been people who didn’t want us to vote. And the right to vote for many is threatened even today. Freedom fighters stood up for the right to vote for all, and some lost their lives doing so. It’s our turn to stand up and vote to preserve the honor of those who went before us.

7. Voting gives you credibility. Often times, we voice our concerns on issues to our elected officials, but if we aren’t voting, our concerns may not matter at all to them. Voting can give you the credibility to make your concerns a top priority of your elected officials.

On Tuesday, get out and vote. Some very important issues and races are set to be decided here in Vicksburg and in our state, too.

Like they say, if you don’t cast a ballot, you don’t have a right to complain.

Jan Griffey is editor of The Vicksburg Post. You may reach her at jan.griffey@vicksburgpost.com or 601-636-4545, ext. 123.