Mouth That Roars

Bill Liblick has made a name for himself of National TV Talk Shows where he spouted his outspoken views from the front row. Now he offers you his opinion every week in the "MOUTH THAT ROARS" Column in the Sullivan County Post.

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November 4th, 2011

Do Not Take Right to Vote for Granted

One of the most cherished rights we have in our great country is the right to vote. It is vital that we all come out to vote on Tuesday not only to elect the people who we feel will best represent us, but also to make a valiant statement as to what it means to be able to vote.

Only a small portion of those eligible to vote register to vote, and of them an even smaller portion actually comes out to vote. Voter apathy is often to blame for low turnouts.

If you are one of those people who thinks voting is a waste of time, then you really don’t understand what the privilege of voting means, and you should change your tune.

Voting is one of the fundamental processes instrumental in the development of a healthy democracy. Be it an election for legislator, supervisor, or town council, it is the people who we elect that will have the rights to formulate policies that will affect our county and towns.

Think of people who are living under oppressive dictatorships and cannot exercise their rights to diverse opinions. We see it every night on the nightly news. Our right to vote is our right of expression and opinion. Do not take this right for granted. Try and appreciate the power of voting by exercising it.

Many of us tend to forget that not all American voters have always been allowed to participate in elections. African-American males were not given the right to vote until five years after the conclusion of the Civil War. The 15th Amendment gave men of color the right to vote in 1870, while women didn’t receive the same right to vote until the passage of the 19th Amendment in 1920.

Although the 15th amendment declared the “right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” That promise would not be fully realized for almost a century. Through the use of poll taxes, literacy tests and other means, Southern states were able to effectively disenfranchise blacks. It would take the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to really move us forward.

There are no national or statewide races to motivate the electorate this year. The election will boil down to this – voter turnout. The candidates who get their troops out will win. Don’t let anybody tell you that one vote doesn’t matter. Remember,
the 2000 presidential election was decided by fewer than 600 votes in the state of Florida.

In Sullivan County, many local elections have been decided by a handful of votes. No matter who wins on Tuesday, all of the candidates seeking elective office must be thanked for coming forward. They are all good people who are truly concerned about our future and want to do something about it. They undoubtedly are not running because of the salary, but instead because they really care. Show them you care too by coming out and voting for the candidate of your choice. Good luck to all.

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