With plenty to lament, take heart in right to vote

Series: Decision 2020 | Story 3

The Nov. 3 election is less than two weeks away. Of course, many reading this have joined with millions across the country in already casting ballots. The unprecedented number of early voters suggests the possibility of a record turnout this year.

Perhaps an exhortation to vote in 2020 comes off more like preaching to the choir than in years past. But we believe that advocating for citizens to exercise their Constitutional right to select their government representatives is never superfluous.

We have provided charts outlining the candidates and their positions in races at the county, state and Congressional levels. See Page 7 in this issue for the latest installment and Page 5 to learn more about the proposed Illinois graduated tax amendment that is also on the ballot. All of our stories also be found on our website at https://www.thehinsdalean.com.

Just in case you need additional motivation to head to the polls, here are some reasons why Americans need to cherish and exercise their most precious civil liberty (with an assist from https://www.civics-online.org).

• Those who don’t vote relinquish any right to complain about the failures of elected leadership or flawed governmental policy. If you want responsible representation, take your responsibility to vote seriously.

• It’s no secret that those with a particular agenda, often self-interested, are going to vote. When others who are not so narrowly driven stay home, it leads to a disproportionate amount of power going into the hands of just a small slice of the population. That’s when “representative” democracy begins to break down.

• Democracy should never be taken for granted. It needs considerable nourishment and encouragement from citizens to reach full-scale dimensions. Nonprofit organizations are much more likely to survive and thrive where public esteem and confidence in government is exceptionally high. Participation and trust breeds more participation and trust.

• Elected officials are fully aware of who votes as well as who does not vote. All voter demographics and election information is contained in public records. Armed with that insight, politicians then act accordingly. Locations with high levels of non-voters will naturally be ignored, which typically spawns resentment and anger and may cause even more disengagement and lower voting rates. While a community’s residents are not going to agree on every issue, they should all be of the same mind that showing up to vote means officials will be much more likely to show up for their challenges and concerns.

• While people may believe — particularly in a Presidential race — that their individual votes may not matter, just remember that elections are made of solely individual votes. And remember those individuals who gave their lives defending the country so that we could continue to enjoy that right.

As former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis once said, “The most important office, and the one which all of us can and should fill, is that of private citizen.”

May we all fill that role this election by filling out a ballot.