The battle lines are drawn and the whole process of electing our next President is now well underway. Each side has chosen its ‘ticket’. America will make its choice after bearing up under heavy advertising bombardment by the opposing sides over TV and radio and the Internet, and from press advertisements and editorials that will flow.
The media is salivating over the money that will flow into its coffers; this is an unbelievable once-every-four-years-bonanza for the media. The pundits are sharpening their caustic pens and their barbed tongues. Many, if not most, have already selected their favorites and it is likely that little change will occur in the minds of those already committed to a particular person or side. Imagine the scramble to buy ad time on the relatively new electronic billboards, and imagine the dollars that flow to those companies which have invested in that venue.
That leaves the ‘undecideds’, if there is such a group anymore, to make the final decision. If the Donkeys and the Elephants are firmly entrenched, and if that accounts for 60% to 70% of all voters with that group fairly evenly split, then the real final decision is going to be up to the maximum of some 30% to 40% of voters who are so far undecided, or who at least are unaffiliated with a political party as such. It boggles the mind to assign a monetary value from the ad spend to each of those undecided votes that will actually decide the election.
We begin to better understand how important our individual vote is, and we are better able to comprehend how important it is for every vote that is counted to be determined to have been valid. That process comes back to our individual communities and voting districts. It comes back to the various employees and volunteers who are involved in the process of gathering votes and tallying the votes gathered.
This is what the term “grass roots” is all about. I have finally become involved in this process, (after pontificating about the votes and the candidates for a long, long time) by volunteering to work at our local polling place each election day. This will be my first experience in this capacity in a national Presidential race. If every polling place all across our country is run like that in which I work, you can rely on the vote count to be accurate. Period. Paragraph. Amen. (There is that little voter ID issue here in Wisconsin that continues to be fought over, but we volunteers do a great job of abiding by the laws as those exist).
That having been said, the rest of the burden then falls on the shoulders of each qualified voter; you/we/they need to be present to cast your/our/their ballot or you/we/they need to have anticipated your/our/their absence and cast an absentee ballot earlier.
Each four years I wonder if it is possible that we’ll have another anywhere-near-so-important election in my lifetime. The results of these elections are so very important, not only to us in the United States but to people around the globe since our country plays such a huge role in this world. If you view the worth of your ballot in this context, you’d make darned sure your ballot counted come heck or high water. Just try to imagine if you had not voted and your guy or gal lost by a single vote; maybe that will be sufficient to get you to be sure you’ve cast a ballot. You can do so early if you need, but you can’t do so the day after the election.
If you don’t vote, you have no right to carp about the outcome…and you really ought to be embarrassed at letting your fellow citizens/voters down.