Our middle son and I went to early vote on Saturday, taking advantage of his visit home for fall break. He is 18, and this is his first general election.
We have impressed upon him and his older brother that how they vote – for whom and what – is a matter of thoughtful, personal decision. That they vote is a responsibility. One that others have died for within their father’s and my lifetimes. One that they, as young men of color, have not been guaranteed unfettered for very long at all – and some might argue that they still aren’t. One that they owe folks like a great-grandfather who left elementary school to help support his family when there were no other options. One that their father defended for 12 years in the Navy, deploying once in service to our country knowing that he would miss the birth of our first child and a second time knowing he would miss the death of his own father.
Voting is about exercising our rights, but it’s also about honoring those who believed this nation could be even better and stronger by going beyond the words “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights…”
We are a better democracy now than we were 236 years ago, but we only remain that way if as many eligible voters as possible exercise their rights at the polls.
Many groups are working to get out the vote. Among them, the North Carolina NAACP is hosting a 30-minute conference call for clergy and religious leaders to engage them and their congregations in the get-out-the-vote effort. The call will be this Saturday, October 27 at 8 pm. Dial 559-726-1200. Passcode is 904993#. No RSVP required.
For information about the election, including early voting go here.
For information on what can and overwhelmingly cannot be required in terms of voter identification go here.
–Aleta Payne, Development and Communications