Archived Story

The afterglow of Election Day

Published 8:54am Thursday, November 8, 2012

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, even though it’s two weeks away, I’m thankful that this election season is over.

No more negative campaigning, no more political ads, no more political “robo-calls”/mail—well, at least for four years.

Another thing I’m looking forward to is my Facebook feed not being plugged up with political posts from friends. It’s kind of a buzz kill seeing unconstructive and opinionated comments lodged in between cute photos of babies, philosophical thoughts and pictures of what people had for dinner.

It’s not that I don’t want my Facebook friends to have their opinions, I do and they’re entitled to them. However, it’s the fine art of prudence that always seems to be lost on the “world-wide web.”

While scrolling through my news feed on Election Day, somewhere between someone complaining about President Barack Obama and another comment criticizing Mitt Romney, I saw a status that bothered me even more than the “politically charged” ones.

“I won’t/don’t vote,” the friend wrote. “I do not think I should have a say in something I’m completely ignorant about.”

To say it bothered me was an understatement. I was infuriated, frustrated and just down right sad about the comment. Not vote? You might as well not breathe.

When I was a little girl my grandmother (along with my mother) practically groomed me for the voting polls. They took into the polling place, they brought me with them to the voting booth and I watched them as they made their choices.

Since I turned 18, I’ve utilized my right to vote because I owe it to my country.

To me it’s still mindboggling that less than 100 years ago women did not have the right to vote. Less than 150 years ago African-American men didn’t have the right to vote. The history of voting rights in this country is mottled with prejudice and inequality.

It took people with fortitude, foresight and desire for change to revolutionize these disparities. To this day there are still people fighting for this privilege we enjoy.

You and I vote because of them. They are the reason we have this right.

It’s shameful that people chose not to utilize their right to vote. And ignorance is no excuse not to use that right. They are plenty of resources at your disposal to educate yourself before you head to the polls.

Yes, it’s just one vote, but it’s yours alone.

Amanda VanDerBroek is a Staff Writer for the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald. For comments and column suggestions email: amanda.vanderbroek@r-cnews.com or call (252) 332-7209.

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