During the American Revolutionary war, a common battle cry was “No taxation without representation.” That was a relatively new concept at the time. The idea that the common man should have any right to self-governance was not yet universally accepted. It was generally accepted that the crown was the defender of the land and the insurer of common welfare. To even think that a regular citizen could have a say in matters such as taxation was literally an act of treason.
Over the years, wars have been fought and lives have been lost defending the right to self-governance. We now believe that the power to govern comes from the people, not the other way around.
The right to vote is the ultimate expression of that belief. And it is the duty of all good citizens to inform themselves of the issues and exercise that right.
Don’t be discouraged by recent reports of election scandals. Electronic voting and cyber-fast news delivery has only made evident what election officials have known for years. When millions of votes are cast, thousands of mistakes are made. New technology doesn’t prevent those mistakes - it only makes them more evident.
When elections results are close, there is a slight danger that such errors can actually affect the ultimate outcome. But those cases are very, very rare. Indeed, it is in those very close elections that fewer mistakes are made because election officials are even more diligent. And it is in those elections that your vote counts the most.
Don’t believe the lie that your vote doesn’t count. Learn the issues; know the candidates; do your homework. And then vote. The very future of democracy is counting on you to do your part.