KOSHER DELIGHT - YOUR JEWISH ONLINE MAGAZINE!
When Was the Last Time
By 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
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
Chairman of the
National Committee for
Furtherance of Jewish Education .
His web site is:
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