• 57°

Choosing not to vote is surrender

In my life, I have come in contact with many people, a lot from my generation and still some older folks, that simply do not vote in elections. Those people are generally also the ones that have an opinion on everything and think their communities and the laws made within them should be different for themselves and their countrymen and women.

I am not going to lie, I have fallen into this trap myself throughout the years. Especially in a state like California where my Republican views did not necessarily match the majority to say the very least. I was left often times wondering why I should even bother at all, because in a very serious and all too real reality I was never recognized. My vote always seemed like it failed to make even the slightest dent in one of the most liberal states in the nation.

I came across a quote during the last presidential election a few years back which described exactly what it means to not go out to the polls on election day and let your voice be heard, no matter how small it is. And it has stuck with me ever since.

“Choosing not to vote is not rebellion it is surrender.”

All too often in life, I have met people, young and old, who feel because their voice is barely ever heard they are going to rebel against the system and not cast a vote at all. Although, typically they then want you to listen to their complaints on how things should be either one way or another, but most likely not the way they currently are in local and nationwide government.

I can’t stress enough that choosing not to vote is not rebellion against the system we live in, it is the purest form of surrendering all the rights we fight for in the United States. No matter how small your voice, it is always important to stand up and cast a vote. In the end, even if your majority is not recognized and does not win, at least you will be able to stand tall and know in your heart that you made your voice known.

On the West Coast, I grew up with an open primary, meaning you are free to vote across the line for whoever you wish with no obligation to which party you are registered for. A closed primary was something new to me as an American voter, and it took me a minute and many conversations with my fellow colleagues to understand the new laws that I was now living under.

Even so, in Tuesday night’s election, I was surprised to see such a low voter turn out at the polls. For a county which has a population well over 50,000 people, I was shocked to see only 8,208 residents actually went to the polls out of the 38 precincts in the county and cast their vote for who they wanted in charge of their local government.

I make it a point not to complain about the way government is run if I do not get out and actually cast my vote and my voice for what I think is right. We may be governed on a national level, but the local level where you live is just as important and should be taken just as seriously by the community.

Choosing not to vote is not rebellion. Choosing not to vote is surrender.

I hope to see many more of you out at the polls for the general election this fall.

Brittany Fuller is the community editor of The Jessamine Journal and Jessamine Life magazine. She can be reached at brittany.fuller@jessaminejournal.com.