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WHY WE MUST VOTE

By Charles H. Winfrey, Staff Contributor

Okay folks! Tuesday is a BIG day. If elections have never been at the top of your agenda before, this one ought to be. The future direction of our State and, indeed, our country is at stake. Do we want a state that

Charles Winfrey, Staff Contributor

continues to marginalize “the least of these,” or do we want a state that governs with compassion? Do we want a country that continues its descent into Fascism, or do we want a country that works diligently to value the life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all of its citizens?

I believe all people of color desire a government that understands and attempts to reconcile the disparities that History has reaped upon us economically, politically, and socially. The current party in power, however, is trying to take away two inches from every inch we gain. Major items like eliminating affordable health care, eliminating Social Security, and increased taxation of the poor to benefit the rich are targets right wing politicians will attempt to achieve if they continue to rule. It is also a certainty that social welfare programs aimed at helping the poor and downtrodden will be reduced to scrap.

If those things are not enough motivation to vote, then try looking at the hostile environment this country is engulfed in. Mass shootings, especially of those who are targets of the Neo-Nazis like African Americans and Jewish Americans, have become commonplace in this country because of the vitriolic rhetoric spewing from the mouth of number 45. Just last Saturday, eleven congregants of a Jewish Synagogue were gunned down in cold blood by a hate-filled so-called nationalist. The only way we can restore sanity and assuage the hostility in this country is through the ballot box. Bottom line. That is the only weapon we have!

So, this is what we have to do.
• If you haven’t voted already, be sure to take yourself to the polls.

• Secondly, implore all of your family members to do likewise. Call each and every one of them with a challenge to get out to vote.

• Next, make sure you take a list of the candidates you wish to vote for to the voting booth with you. Because the party in power did away with straight party voting, you will have to vote for each office separately. You will have received a lot of literature from the various candidates, so coming up with a list should not present a problem. Such a list will cut down on the time it will take you to complete the ballot.
• Thirdly, make sure you go to the non-partisan end of the ballot to vote for all of the judges and proposals on the ballot. Again, you should have a list of those candidates you favor, as well as a decision on how you want to vote on each of the four ballot proposals. Proposal 1 is whether or not you support the legalization of recreational marijuana; proposal 2 is whether or not you favor a committee of citizens drafting political district boundaries every decade or should elected politicians continue to do so; proposal 3 is whether you support same day voter registration, no reason absentee voting, and a return to straight party voting or not. The last proposal is whether funding for the Genesee Health Plan should be renewed.
Let’s rally the troops and turn out Obama-like numbers on November 6.

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