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Your Views: Exercise the right to vote earned by the lives of many Americans

POSTED: March 17, 2012 1:00 a.m.

When I woke up at 0-dark-hundred (4 a.m.) the morning of March 6 so I could open my polling place by 7 a.m. (poll workers have to be there at 6), I asked myself, "Why in the world are you doing this?" The answer came back in a flash, "Because I can!"

Thankfully, we live in a country where we have that right to vote, but too often, we don't exercise it. The polling place I manage returned 30.8 percent, consistently among the highest in our county. Others might think that's pretty good, but I think it's pathetic.

As a soldier, I've been in too many countries where people literally have died to vote. But folks, you have, too, because you also live in such a country: the United States of America. Many brave men and women have put their lives on the line and too many have died so we can have a free country and you can cast your vote as you see fit.

Thomas Jefferson once wrote, "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants ..."

We should be turning out percentages in the 80s and 90s. Shame on you if you are not registered, or are registered and didn't vote. The way we keep our country free, strong, and great is to exercise that basic of all freedoms - the right to vote.

If you don't vote, don't complain about who got elected. And if you don't like who did get elected, make yourself heard by them; if they don't represent your views in their legislative behavior, vote them out of office the next time you have the opportunity.

If you haven't told your elected representative what you expect of them, you should; otherwise, how else will they know?

Kudos to the Elections Office, under Charlotte Sosebee and her superb professional staff, for training and preparing us and processing the machines and materials we use in such an efficient manner to accomplish the job it is our high privilege to do.

Kudos to all of those folks who are willing to invest such long hours preparing for and operating their polling places to ensure we can continue to enjoy the fruits of living in a free society.

And finally, kudos to the great team it is my honor to lead as we seek to serve our community.

A.R. McCahan
Gainesville



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