Opinion: Casting Your Own Ballot November 4 Is Not Enough!

Opinion:  Casting Your Own Ballot November 4 Is Not Enough!

By Charles H. Winfrey

As Election Day, November 4, inches closer, it becomes more and more evident that Michigan is truly a battleground state.  The BIGS are coming in.  That was evident in former President Bill Clinton’s visit to Flint, and, we understand, the POTUS himself will also pay a visit to Michigan prior to Election Day.          

President Clinton spoke to a standing-room-only crowd at the Riverfront Center last Wednesday.  His job was to rally the troops, to energize a Democratic campaign that has been long and tiring.

“Most of you will come into contact with over a hundred people between now and Election Day,” he stated.  “Make it your business to get those people to the polls.”

But that’s where the problem lies.  Even those who cast their votes regularly, election after election, seemingly resign themselves to the fact that getting themselves to the polls is effort enough.  Although they moan and complain about the decisions made by elected officials, they feel no real need to become intimately involved in assuring the candidates most closely aligned to their priorities and concerns are elected, aside from casting their own ballot.

Most believe that because they are not intimately involved, they are exempt from encouraging others to vote for the candidate of their choice.  Not only do they fail to rally the troops, they also fail to rally family members, neighbors, and colleagues.

I’m sure President Clinton was serious about each one reaching 100.  I’m also sure he would be ecstatic if each one would reach only 10. But, the average voter has lulled himself into such a state of detachment that even 10 would be herculean.

Most voters don’t understand.  The more local an election is, the more direct effect it has on your life.  But the only time we get even a modicum of respectable turnout is during presidential elections, when 50% of registered voters usually go to the polls.  However, 30% of those who vote in presidential elections will not vote in gubernatorial elections.  At least 30% of those who vote in gubernatorial elections will not vote in local elections.  Today, that is the reality.

How do we change that reality?  Do as President Clinton suggest.  Attach more importance to your own ability to determine election outcomes, even though you may not be directly connected to any campaign organization.  If you have a problem getting motivated, just look at those who have inflicted the most pain and suffering upon our people as incentive to oust them.  That ought to inspire us to go after 100. Let those who resist voting know that in so doing they are tacitly voting for more pain and suffering.  Challenge themwith that message. Let them know they are part of the problem in a community searching for solutions.  Take them to the polls if necessary. Let them know their vote counts. Tell them it’s a numbers game.  At the end of the day, the candidate with the highest number of votes wins. 

“The Struggle Continues”