Voter registration drives are become more and more frequent across the country as the 2018 midterm elections, as well as a slew of state and local elections, continue to gain momentum.
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump has finally relented and called a halt to his ill-advised voter’s commission that had been given the task of identifying what he claimed were millions of successful efforts of voter fraud. That’s why, he has said, he did not win the popular vote during his recent showdown against Hillary Clinton. Of course, we know otherwise.
What we find to be so amazing, is how many Americans still do not exercise their right to vote. In fact, when compared to other countries, our percentage of citizens who vote stands dismally near the bottom of the pack. Voting remains one of the most powerful tools at the disposal of all citizens. It can change the course of history. It has brought new life, new light and new opportunities for countless numbers of Americans. The outcome of our votes has given Blacks the right to equal education and guaranteed members of the LGBTQ community the right to marry and live without fear of persecution.
It has given women the right to vote and to own property. It has secured our right to peacefully protest. In fact, it has helped this country, albeit slowly, actually live up to its lofty creeds as expressed in our Constitution. Make no mistake, there are those in our midst — many of whom sit in very high places — who would prefer to see some constituencies and communities lose this right. Just consider the plight of those men and women who were once “enslaved” behind bars but are now ex-offenders attempting to rejoin society — and for whom the majority still have not been given their right to vote which they lost due to their unfortunate dealings with the law.
But there is good news around us as several cities in Maryland have either given or are considering extending the right to vote to those as young as 16. And the numbers illustrate that these youths are showing up in numbers greater than their elders.
Voting time is almost upon us. Don’t sit on your hands or bury your heads in the sand. Take a stand, use your vote and exercise your right. Make a difference. Your vote may just change the world — for the better.