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Voting: It's more important than a right. It's your responsibility

Published: October 5, 2016 12:00 AM

What's your excuse for not voting?

Don't know enough about the candidates?

Don't think your vote will count?

Don't want to be called for jury duty?

Too bad.

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If you are 18 years old or older, it is your responsibility to decide who gets to run the schools, the city, the county, the country.

Not registered?

You have until Oct. 11 to register to vote in the Nov. 8 election.

On the day I turned 18, my father drove me to a local junior high school, where voter registration was taking place ahead of the presidential election.

I had my own car. I could have driven myself.

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But my dad wanted to be there when I signed the card.

My dad, a World War II veteran, was a strong patriot of the United States, and he instilled that pride in his five children.

It made him proud to watch me register to vote.

Since that day, I've taken my responsibility as a citizen to choose our leaders seriously, missing only an occasional primary election.

I don't understand why more than 50 percent of people in Ohio don't.

The highest reported voter turnout in Ohio was 46 percent, in the 2008 election, according to the Ohio Secretary of State.

Thank you to those of you included in that number.

Where were the rest of you?

Every year it gets easier.

You can vote absentee without a reason.

You can vote early, beginning Oct. 12. Here's the calendar with times and dates: https://goo.gl/yx9NpS

Don't know enough about the candidates? Start reading credible news sources, watch the debates, go to the political party websites of the candidates and choose which platform most aligns with your values and beliefs. Read their literature to find out what they believe, not what they say about their opponents.

Don't think your vote will count? You'll never know if you don't vote.

Don't want to be called for jury duty? Have you stopped driving? Jurors are chosen from registered voters and registered drivers.

Unless you were a white man who owned property between 1776 and 1856, a woman who was born after 1920, the descendent of a former male slave born after 1868, or an African American registering to vote after 1966, someone died or was injured to secure your right to vote.

The voting age was lowered from 21 to 18 in 1971, after thousands of Vietnam war protestors convinced Congress that if they were old enough to be drafted and sent to war, they were old enough to choose their leaders.

According to Capt. Marshal Hanson, USNR (Ret.) and Capt. Scott Beaton, Statistical Source, 61 percent of the 58,000 American soldiers who died in Vietnam were under 21 years of age.

That's more than 35,000 men and women who didn't have a chance to vote for the leaders who sent them to their death.

Still can't think of a reason to vote?

Do it for those who couldn't.

Contact reporter:

gmace@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9423Twitter: @twinsburgohio


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