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Early Voting: A Teachable Moment

November 3, 2012 marks the last day of early voting in the state of Illinois.  Early voting, which began Monday, October 22, 2012, allows registered voters to cast their ballots during a two week period rather than wait until the November 6th Presidential General Election.  Over the past two weeks there has been an increasing debate on the relevance of voting early or voting at all, for that matter.

During the early voting period, I have heard people say:  “Why should I vote?  My vote doesn’t matter any way.”  I have also heard people complain about the long lines.  “I went to vote and the line was too long…I’ll go back later or wait until November 6th.”  While we have the freedom to exercise our right to vote, it is disheartening to hear people complain about the length of time they have to wait to vote or contemplate whether they should participate in the electoral process at all.       

On Tuesday, October 30th, I exercised my right to vote.  Not only did I exercise my right to vote, but I waited in line for over one hour with my three children, ages 5 and 8.  As

we stood in line, my children inquired about the importance of voting.  They also asked, “Why do we have to wait in this long line?”  This was a teachable moment…I explained to my children that just a short time ago, Blacks were prevented from voting due to system based upon discrimination, power and control.  I explained that there were Black men and women who risked their lives for the opportunity to vote.  As a result of the sacrifices that have been made by our people, it is only right that “we” participate in the political process. 

While this is not my first time participating in the political process, it was the most memorable and important.  I experienced tremendous pride being able to vote with my children.  If you have not participated in the early voting process, please take time to exercise your right to vote on Tuesday, November 6, 2012.  Remember, if we don’t vote, it diminishes our right to make certain demands of political representative.  Most importantly, if we don’t vote, the sacrifices made by our ancestors are in vain.  Make sure you participate in early voting on November 3rd or during the November 6th General Presidential Election! 

Keywords: Chicago, Illinois, vote, vote 2012

Posted in Politics

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