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Not Voting Equals Voting By Mae Catherine Godhigh

Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”

~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Mae Catherine Godhigh 10985080_958690097482743_6815062571530017620_nVoter apathy is a dangerous phenomenon. It robs communities and our country of endless possibilities. It will rob generations of dreams, hopes and opportunities. Voter apathy is like a form of “political depression.” The individual feels hopeless and unable to influence the event. Statements like, “my vote won’t make a difference” or “I’m staying home” are indicative of voter apathy. It signals a lack of confidence in our political system. For many, the unpopularity of both candidates is a concerning factor. However, we must not allow personalities to become a distraction for our civic obligation.

Whether you are a Trump fan, Bernie fan or Hillary fan; your vote is critical in this upcoming election. What is at stake will affect our lives for generations. The bloodshed of our ancestors and former leaders paved the way to the ballot box. Voter apathy discounts all of their sacrifices.

Educating the voting base is essential and everyone’s responsibility. As Americans, we either face an “unleashed” government or one which works for “all citizens.” Our communities must unite, register, strategize and vote.

Town Hall meetings, symposiums, lectures, leaders and every resource must be made available for the voting cause. Your local NAACP should not have to carry the entire burden of voter registration on their shoulders. Voting begins within our own families. A collective and inclusive effort is needed to bring about real change in our country. This includes all boots on the ground.

We are living in an age where technology changes by the hour. Kudos to our Millennials. Our youth are on top of it. We must allow them to bring their ideas and tech savviness to the table. Together, let’s learn from them and prepare them to become leaders. Bernie Sanders fans pushed a progressive agenda and did an amazing job. These individuals led a loud grassroots rebellion which will change the landscape of how business is conducted in our country.

The Black Lives Matters Movement is relevant and is not to be marginalized. Eventually, our country will have to address law enforcement disparities and within our criminal judicial systems.

Remember, we have a House and Senate up for election. This is where you have the power to “send them packing.” Discussions about Supreme Court and future appointments are especially pertinent. The Supreme Court will either shape an America Re-framed or an America Regressed. We must vote as if our very lives depend upon it because it really does. The ballot box is your voice and your power.

Hazen Pingree once stated, “Voter apathy was and will remain the greatest threat to democracy.”

Dear Reader, if you decide not to vote—your apathy will cast a vote for the other candidate.