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Wanna Know How I’m Gonna Vote in the 2016 Presidential Election..?

When I officially became a U.S. citizen in 2012, I was more than pleased to take on the responsibilities of being a patriotic American. Along with embracing the “Red, White & Blue”, I earned the right to vote which is something I cherish and do not take lightly.

Truth be known, this will be the first time in my life that I’ve ever voted. I was too young when I lived in Ireland. I spent only a brief period living in London and never had the opportunity. So next week, this voting “newbie” will finally get to experience the process of casting a ballot.

And I’m taking it very seriously.

Voting is not just a “civic duty”, as they say, it’s a sacred privilege that so many have fought and died for over the centuries, and one that our armed forces fight to protect everyday in all corners of the world.

Will You Vote?

Which brings me to my point: We are now less than a week from the 2016 Presidential Election and I wonder how many of us will actually get out and vote.

Average turnout for the past four General Elections, dating back to 2000, is just 54.5% — meaning, for all practical purposes, that only one in two eligible voters exercised their right to participate in a process that determines the next U.S. President and de facto leader of the free world. Not to mention the countless, down-ballot decisions that will be made, impacting us at the state and local levels.

Why ..? I simply don’t get it.

(Amazingly, if you go back to 1920 when Susan B. Anthony busted up the “old boys” network and successfully championed the right to vote for women, the single-highest voter turnout in a Presidential Election year was 1960 (Kennedy-Nixon) when 62.8% of eligible U.S. voters chose to cast a ballot. But still, four of 10 voters opted to stay home.)

What I do get is that people are weary … tired of the filth and muck that has characterized the 2016 Election. Even for those who want to do their due diligence and make an informed decision, there are so many news platforms these days – some legitimate, some pure propaganda, and many others tilted left or right – that it’s difficult to know what’s fact and what’s fiction.

Presidential Election polls are all over the board and the mainstream media long ago left its journalistic responsibilities lying in a smoldering heap by the side of the road. It’s no wonder people are fatigued and a common sentiment is, “I am so ready for this to be over.”

And it’s not just the citizenry that feels that way.

Companies have pulled back on spending, taking a “wait and see” attitude. Many have implemented hiring freezes since none of us truly know what the landscape will look like when we awaken the morning after Election Day 2016. Like it or not, every Presidential Election impacts us all — at home, in the community, and in the workplace.

How Did We Get Here?

Neither of the two leading Presidential candidates is popular, even among their own supporters. And I wonder: How is it, in a nation of 325 million people, that we couldn’t have come up with better options?
It’s hard to know if either party’s nominee truly means what they say … and that’s if they’re even bothering to address serious platform issues like the economy, jobs, immigration reform, the Supreme Court, healthcare, race relations, international trade, etc.

The Pew Research Center, a non-partisan “fact tank” based in Washington, DC that monitors social issues, public opinion, and demographic trends, recently revealed some interesting numbers:

  • 80% of Americans have “thought quite a lot” about the 2016 Election (the highest number in a quarter-century)
  • 85% are following 2016 Election news “very or fairly closely”
  • 74% believe “it really matters who wins” when it comes to addressing public policy
  • 60% say they have “more interest in politics” than they did four years ago

These are all considered very high numbers and, one would assume, portend a higher-than-normal voter turnout. (Let’s face it, there’s plenty of room for improvement there!)

But we’re here. Just six days shy of November 8th, Election Day 2016.

The Only Thing that Matters …

It matters not whether you like or dislike either of the two leading Presidential candidates. What does matter, perhaps more than ever before in U.S. history, is that you weigh in. (Key phrase: “More than ever before in U.S. history …”)

Please … get out of bed. Stand in line (take an umbrella, just in case). Show your ID. Receive your ballot. Walk to the voting booth. Make your selections. Cast your vote. Be heard!

If not for your own satisfaction, do it out of respect for the women and men in the armed services who are actively defending this sacred privilege across the globe. And if you’re so inclined, please say a prayer for the United States of America.


P.S. – Wanna know how I’m gonna vote …? Here goes: I’m voting in favor of voting!