Lots of men in suits sitting in a row on chairs facing right and two black men in suits standing at a podium

It’s time for America to get ready for the November ballots. Time to vote! Vote for your favorite person to represent you and your family when it comes to paying taxes, getting your street repaved and the potholes repaired. We vote for people we know personally and people we don’t know at all. We get our information from the formal and informal “meet your candidates” receptions that are held generally during the pressing weeks up to election day. 

  We watch the media news, the rampant rush of commercials that talk about what the “opponent” is not doing or are doing if its of a criminal nature. We only see images of the candidates wearing freshly pressed clothing, walking hand in hand with their spouses and children, shaking hands of people who mostly look just like them, and telling us only the good news that they will treat our family as if it were their family. 

To vote is a privilege to some and a necessity and a right to others. African Americans and women have not always had the right to vote. Where is the power in the vote of a group of people who have, nothing to gain, it seems, when they do vote? Is there power in the vote?

White women gained the right to vote on August 18, 1920. That’s only 98 years ago. My African American mother is 85 years old and was 13 years old when women gained the right to vote. This of course wasn’t an option for her or her race of people. It wasn’t until the Voting Rights of 1965 was passed that people of color could begin the still long fight and battle of blood, hangings and beatings to cast their ballots and vote for the white man, in the beginning, that they felt would best help their people. Now they are able to vote for the best man or woman, of many races, that they don’t really know and have never heard of before the election campaigns begin, in their area. 

Our teenagers who are registered to vote and do vote are going to be an important voice in the upcoming elections. They are taking a stand against politicians who are voting for the rights to bear arms. They are concerned about the “Me Too Movement” and want to see change in the way women and men are treated in regard to sexual assaults. Will their vote have any power in November? Are they paying attention to what the candidates are saying and what they have done in the past? Is Twitter the way they are getting their information? And if so, what are we doing as “adults” to make sure they are informed voters? 

There are many ways to determine if we have power in the voting process, however, the most important reason to vote is that it lets the candidates know that people are listening to them, watching them and if necessary will vote them out of their office position if they are not doing what they said they would do when they were campaigning for our votes.

Who are you voting for this November? Is it someone you have voted for each time their term is up without evaluating how they performed their job duties while in office? Is it for someone that is new to the table, with fresh ideas, of a different race or color? Are you voting for the same old same old or are you voting for change in your district? Whoever you vote for, whatever issue you choose to support, make sure that you are informed because the only real power in the vote is the vote that’s based on sound judgment. Not based on hype, or hate, or a need to get revenge. Where is the power in the vote? It’s in you.

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