Guest Author - Cynthia Parker
Speaking of examples that we set for our children, I want to ask a question that may seem silly, but truly isnít. Are you registered to vote and do you intend to vote in the 2004 Presidential election? Go ahead and laugh. I know that you, like I, think that most everyone is registered to vote. But they arenít! As highly as I value the right to vote, I was not registered to vote until about ten years ago. Itís sad, but true. I complained about our government and the decision of those in power, but I wasnít making my voice heard in the easiest way we have. I was not voting.
If you donít vote, then the results of any election are not accurate because all voices are not being heard. And, as is often stated, if you donít vote, then you have no right to complain about the outcome. As simple as the process has become there is no valid reason not to vote!
Women fought long and hard to obtain the right to vote. Men thought that we werenít intelligent enough to be considered in such matters. They felt that their vote represented us as well, because we should do as our husbands told us to do. We fought back, insisting that we be taken seriously and granted our own vote. We knew there would be many times when we didnít agree with the men and we valued ourselves enough that we insisted that we be recognized as equals. If we fought so hard for the right to vote, then why have we become so lackadaisical about using that right?
I strongly encourage African-Americans to get out to the polls and vote! Your voice should be heard. You have fought to be recognized and heard for generations. Donít throw the opportunity away to make your vote count. All nationalities that have immigrated to this country should stand up and be heard. We all came here in search of opportunity and a hand at our own destiny. Then why would we want to allow our destiny to be decided by others? Claim your destiny and claim your right to vote.
You must be registered to vote 90 days before an election. If your goal is to vote in the Presidential election in November 2004, then you must be registered to vote by September 1, 2004. Please, take a moment to go on-line, stop by your local DMV, or phone your local Voter Registration office and complete a registration form. Take your fate in your own hands; register to vote and use that right to make your voice heard.
I hope to see you at the polls!