Exercising the right to vote 

Election ballots came in the mail last week. I turned mine around in two days. It’s one of those things that isn’t urgent, but I wanted to get it taken care of lest I forget. 

I exercised my right to vote in thankfulness for living in one of the freest nations in the world and in the history of the world. It’s not perfect, but if we exercise our right to vote, we make it just a little better. 

I exercised my right to vote because I can. And I can without fear of reprisal or persecution. That has not always been the case, nor is it the case in some other countries. 

I exercised my right to vote in honor of the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment to our constitution.

When the founders of our nation stated they believe all men are created equal, they meant all white males. It took another 150 years of evolution and revolution for that phrase to come to mean all people irrespective of sex, race or skin color.

I vote in appreciation of those who fought hard to secure this right for me and others. 

I exercised my right to vote to remember my grandmothers. I was intimately acquainted with both of them as a child.

Neither had the right to vote when they married. In fact, one grandmother was married for 20 years before she obtained the right to vote. 

I exercised my right to vote because in most cases, I think it makes a difference. Besides, I have no right to complain about political situations and government leaders if I didn’t vote. 

The last circle I filled was for the first race on the ballot. I stewed and fretted a long time trying to decide how to vote. After I did so, it left a bad taste in my mouth.

I felt like editor Boyle Sr. four years ago after he voted: I felt like I needed to take a shower. It felt like I’d rolled around in the dirt with my mouth open. I lamented that in a country as great as ours, that this was the best we could do as far as putting forth candidates for leadership of our country.  

We’ve come a long way in having finally elected a president of color. Now we may have one who is a female. Like them or not, they do represent a step forward in equality. Yes, I realize we still have a long way to go. 

I will continue to pray for our nation’s leaders – they need it. It is a thankless job no matter how you look at it. And I say shame on you if you didn’t exercise your right to vote. It makes you ungrateful for living in this free land even with its warts and all.

San Juan Record

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