Letters to the Editor

Voting is a privilege and a duty

Re the Sept. 26 letter No to both: Yes, everyone is tired of negative campaign ads, but it doesn’t make sense to protest by not voting. When you don’t vote, two things happen:

First, everybody who does vote decides who will be your next councilman, commissioner, governor, judge, congressman or president for you, and important issues in your community and county, including basic human rights, get decided without you.

Second, you are forgetting the sacrifice of the men and women of our armed forces, who risk their lives daily for our freedoms in this country, one of the most critical of which is the right to vote.

Voting should not be seen as an option. My parents taught me that it is a privilege and my duty as an American. I have seen this love of community and the United States in people who were not born here, but who have become citizens and would not think of missing any election. They fled the lack of freedom and choice in their native countries. Right now, young people in Hong Kong are risking their lives to protest for their right to vote for candidates not chosen by the Chinese government.

There’s no excuse for not voting; you don’t even have to take time off or stand in line; just request an absentee ballot that allows you time to actually read and research the candidates and the issues.

Exercise the freedoms that others have fought so hard for, vote for the best candidate — or at least vote for a change if you don’t like the current politician. Get involved in your community and country, and don’t let others decide your freedoms for you. Last, don’t complain about what you get if you don’t vote.

Martha Singleton, Miami