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  KD MAGAZINE!         ב"ה              
 
 
     
 

When Was the Last Time You Voted?

By Rabbi Shea Hecht

RABBI SHEA HECHT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

Voter apathy drives me crazy. Why would people avoid and ignore the greatest power that they have in a democracy?
 
President Harry Truman said it best when he said, "It's not the hand that signs the laws that holds the destiny of America. It's the hand that casts the ballot."
 
In a democracy, the citizens are the power behind the government; yet many people don't exercise their right to vote. There are many places where the right to vote doesn't exist, we have that right. So let's use that power!
 
There are bona fide cases of elections that were decided by a tiny percentage of votes - some by as little as one vote! One vote made a difference!!
 
And yet, in the news there was an incredible article titled, "Voter turnout for tiny North Dakota town: Zero."
 
The town of Pillsbury is tiny. The voter population is miniscule.  But on June 10, NO ONE showed up to vote. Not even those on the ballot.
 
Mayor Darrel Brudevold said voter turnout in the city's primary election is usually fairly high.
 
"I dare say a half-dozen people usually make it to the polls," he said. That represents about a quarter of the residents in the Barnes County farming community, in southeastern North Dakota.
 
The reasons the voters gave for not showing up on June 10 are ones that we can all relate to.
 
"Everybody has got a job and they're busy," Brudevold said. "It just worked out that nobody seemed to go down there to the polls."
 
Brudevold's wife, Ruth, runs the beauty shop and is the town's postmaster. She said she was too busy with work to make it to the polls.
 
Brudevold said he intended to vote, but that he had crops to tend to.
 
He said he assumed at least one person would show up to vote. But no one did.
Though the story in Pillsbury is true, it is a satire of what happens in every other town across this great country.
 
This small North Dakota town was an illustration of a widespread malaise: we don't appreciate our right to vote. Statistics show that more than half of the people who are eligible to vote don't.
 
Everything else seems much more important.
 
Many don't vote because they don't like who's on the ballot, however if they actually did vote we would have a very different outcome on those elections.
 
Yes, our vote counts; every single one.
 
Next time we think about the opportunity to vote let's remember that it's not only an opportunity; it is our responsibility. 
Rabbi Shea Hecht is the Chairman of the National Committee for Furtherance of Jewish Education . His web site is: www.sheahecht.com

 
   
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