No excuses, do your duty and vote Tuesday

THERE SHOULD BE ONE less excuse for not voting in next Tuesday’s election. People in this country seem to find a lot of excuses for not voting election after election, which is why the United States consistently ranks near the bottom in terms of voter turnout among the world’s nations.

That’s a pretty sorry statement for a nation that so many of us proclaim is the greatest nation in the world.

Turnout is always much lower for so-called off-year and local elections - elections which should draw a larger turnout since the impact of each vote is more direct when electing a local official among thousands, tens or hundreds of thousands of voters as opposed to a presidential election with nearly 150 million total votes.

That runs contrary to one of the most common excuses for not voting – my vote doesn’t count.

Another common excuse for not voting is that there is no one to choice from or no contests. That may be true in some local elections, but it is definitely not true next Tuesday.

Voters here will have choices in statewide races for governor and attorney general, as well as choices for U.S. Congress, the state Senate, the state Assembly and Sheboygan County Clerk of Circuit of Courts. That’s as complete a list of contested races that we have seen locally in many, many years and obviates yet another excuse for not voting.

All of those races have been hotly contested, with lots of advertising in all media, phone calls, mailings, yard signs, news coverage and all the trappings of a modern election.

It all gets tiring at times, and many of us tend to tune out all the noise, but it is still how the system works and the alternative is too grim to think about. It all tends to reinforce what Winston Churchill was fond of saying - “Democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.”

But whatever we think of the process, there should be no room for criticism of it – or the end result – from those who choose not to participate, for whatever reason.

There are plenty of other excuses people use for not voting, but there should be no excuse.

Countless numbers of brave men and women have died to protect our rights, including the right to vote, over the past several centuries and we should all ensure that their sacrifice was not made in vain.

It is our civic duty and responsibility to vote, each and every one of us, whether it be in advance, by absentee ballot or on Election Day.

There should be no excuse.

At issue:
Election Day Tuesday
Bottom line:
Plenty to vote for

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