SAN DIEGO, November 5, 2014 — Because the United States is a representative democracy, Americans enjoy many freedoms.
The right to vote is one of the most important and fundamental of all rights afforded American citizens.
As a democracy, Americans are given the ability to influence communities, states and the entire country by exercising the right to vote.
As a representative democracy, American voters have the opportunity to engage and participate in education and information abundantly shared throughout every election cycle about those desiring to become elected representatives.
Armed with basic democratic rights such as the freedom of expression, freedom of speech, and freedom of the press, voters have every opportunity to determine who will best-represent the community, state and nation.
There are over 206,070,000 Americans eligible to vote and only 146,311,000 who are registered, according to a July 6, 2014 U.S. Census Bureau report.
During the 2012 Presidential election, approximately 131,144,000 Americans cast their votes.
It is difficult to comprehend why millions of eligible Americans do not participate in one of the processes most fundamental to maintaining a democracy–voting.
Given that American voters of all ages, ethnicities, backgrounds and income levels have the same opportunity to impact election outcomes; it is puzzling why so many ballots do not end up collected at the polls.
There are a variety of reasons why millions of eligible American voters did not cast their votes, and www.statisticbrain.com/voting-statistics provides some of the following answers:
Too busy conflicting schedule: 17.5%
Illness or disability: 14.9%
Not interested: 13.4%
Do not like candidates or campaign issues: 12.9%
Out of town: 8.8%
Don’t know: 7%
Registration problems: 6%
Inconvenient polling place: 2.7%
Transportation problems: 2.6%
Bad weather: 0.2%
As of October 31, 2014, 12,086,464 ballots have been cast by American voters, with the hopeful promise of many millions more to come.
All American voters have the responsibility to lend their voice through casting their votes, helping to create the balance of power necessary for the continuation of American freedom and democracy itself.
It matters far less if the voter is in any way discouraged by negative campaigning, robocalls, possible mistrust of political leadership, or the belief that only money buys an election outcome–and far more that every American voter rises above any perceived obstacle or barrier to making a difference.
Every American voter must remember the true power of each individual vote rendered.
Is it possible that Czechoslovakia’s first president, President Tomas Garrigue Masaryk, may have described democracy best when he reportedly said in the following English translation, that “Democracy has its faults, because people have their faults. Like owner, like store.”
As millions of Americans race to the polls to submit their ballots before the polls close this evening, it is well to remember that America will ultimately only be as great as what each one of its citizens is willing to give.
Until next time, enjoy the ride in good health!
Laurie Edwards-Tate, MS, is a health care provider of over 30 years. As a featured “Communities Digital News” columnist, LifeCycles with Laurie Edwards-Tate emphasizes healthy aging and maintaining independence, while delighting and informing its readers. Laurie is a recognized expert in home and community-based, long-term care services, and is also an educator.
In addition to writing for “Communities Digital News,” Laurie is the President and CEO of her firm, At Your Home Familycare, which serves persons of all ages who are disabled and infirm with a variety of non-medical, in-home care and concierge services.
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