Yesterday I went to our local library for early voting. Early voting has been open for about a week. So I was interested in how many people had voted already. As it turns out, the machine used to scan in the paper ballots displays the number of votes accepted to date. My number was 733. Is that good or bad? I think it is bad. There are only 10 voting sites around Orange County, FL. The downtown library, where I went, has two ballot scanners. So if the count on each machine was roughly equal, that would mean that in one week, there were only about 1,500 voters taking advantage of early voting. If early voting were distributed equally across all 10 sites, that would mean only about 15,000 votes. Orange County, FL has a population of about 1,000,000. Of course, not all of them are eligible voters. However, if only half were eligible, that would mean only about 3% of the eligible population has voted so far.
Why is that so bad?
No matter whether you believe the government has never been better or if you believe that the government has never been more misguided, you need to get out and vote. People in Iraq braved the risk of being shot just for the chance to vote for their leaders. Here too many people don’t seem to care who gets elected. Some say they are all crooks so what does it matter. That is exactly what they want you to think. They want you to vote party lines. They want you to vote based on their advertising, and I will not get into how honest those advertisements are. No matter what else you do, nothing is more important than for you to check out the candidates, check their blogs, check their Facebook pages, find out what they stand for and what they have done in the past especially for those who are incumbents.
So turn off your computer, get your car keys and get out there and vote like your life, liberty and freedom depended upon it.
It just might.