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Opinion: Being a good citizen is hard work

Some friends just voted and shared a story about the folks ahead of them checking in. They didn’t want to use “them voting machines! They’re bad!” They wanted a paper ballot instead. 

A little late for that request. They didn’t do their citizenship homework. Heck, they could have found out all about the voting process this cycle right here in The Times. 

I’m a naturalized citizen of the United States. My dad’s job brought us here from Canada in the 1960s. During the naturalization process you have to know how this country works. You have to take a test. Based on what I heard about the above mentioned folks, maybe everyone should have to take that test. 

We also learned about our responsibilities as citizens — that our job is to not only engage with our elected officials but to actively challenge them. You can do that politely. 

I wonder if those folks bothered to contact their elected officials when voting legislation was being debated in the legislature? Complaining at the polls is the wrong place. And too late. 

Citizenship is hard work. Like school, if you want to pass an exam, you have to do your homework. Do those folks represent a majority of Georgians? Nope. Likely (I hope) just a small percentage. But now more than ever we need 100% participation in the hard work of citizenship. 

It’s worth the effort. Our future as “We the People” depends on it. 

Brian Olson