By Linda Lee Denton – News@MyPulseNews.com
National Voter’s Registration Day just passed, Tuesday September 24th. If you are not registered, you still can by mail or in person. For information and materials on the process, visit the Polk County Clerk’s Office in the courthouse. May I impress upon you your right, as provided by the U.S. Constitution and following Amendments, to vote! Once registered as a voter you accept your role in the process that makes our country, my country, great. The United States can only truly be great when we all do our role to the best of our ability. Not one person makes America great; instead our greatness is harnessed by all residents and our beliefs, our actions, our ability to unite, and our trust in the democratic government constructed by our nation’s first leaders and those following.
I challenge each registered voter to get involved. Educate yourselves, it is imperative for the process, in my opinion. As a side note, Socrates did not like democracy. He knew the quality of the democratic process depended on the constituents comprising the vote. Seeing as most did not have the time to learn about the issues, he knew they could be easily taken advantage of. Is this or could this be happening today? Voter registration increases during presidential election years but I am not speaking of just the ability to participate. Arm yourself with knowledge- knowledge concerning the candidates and their platforms. Don’t just listen to the news albeit news tv or newspapers. Look into a candidate or proposed bill for yourself by verifying a statement or release by cross-checking it with another source. I ask you to watch the debates, read the party materials, look at the history of candidate while they have been in politics. This applies not just to candidates but for legislation also. Ask yourself who is the bill’s initiator, are they aligned with a group or organization; if so, what is that group’s beliefs? Read the proposed bill and see if the bill (which you might be behind) is ‘tagged’ with additional issues by lobbyist. What is the effect of the whole bill proposed? Remember, this applies to local elections all the way up the chain.
For those of us who have been registered voters for quite some time… do we know or remember the branches of our government? The function of these branches? Are we familiarized with our constitution and the amendments? I am not asking that we all become lawyers and can recite these forwards and backwards. Our job is to try and understand all issues, vote based on what we know, question representatives when needed, and vote based on this. Don’t be caught blindsided and find yourself reading a bill for the first time while standing behind the voting podium.
As the year progresses, I ask we all stay alert. Participate when and where we can. Volunteer for local debates and/or campaigns or to work polling booths. Get involved in the process. We all have a lot to learn and we each can benefit from becoming involved.