An Unalienable Right

Today is all about voting. You’re going to see it wherever you turn: via conversations with friends and family, via all the news outlets, and via social media. If you’re tired or burnt out by the road leading to this day, better crawl back in bed and pull the covers up … right after you VOTE!

Voting is one of the most valuable gifts we have as citizens of these United States. This gift is, in fact, an unalienable right of ours. Some of us were born with this right and some of us received it through studying for and passing a citizenship test after our lawful immigration into this country.

Not everyone is allowed to vote. People who are in this country illegally are not able to vote, nor are people with some felony convictions, mentally incapacitated adults, and people below the age of 18. Other than these few limitations, every citizen can vote for the party and person of their choice. People who reside in U.S. territories (including Puerto Rico and Guam) are not able to vote for the President, a fact saved for a future blog post.

Voting has consumed the last few years of this nation’s history more than at most times, probably second only to when women fought to get the vote. There have been thousands of news hours dedicated to the how, when, where, and who of voting just in the last few weeks alone.

So, here we are. We are at the moment when we get to exercise the right to say who we want to be our leaders.

Perhaps most of you have already voted by mail-in ballot. Some of you may withstand long waits as you cast your in-person ballot. As I type these words I feel grateful to be able to vote; to do it easily without standing in long lines or without trying to find transportation to a poll or without fearing that my ballot will be hijacked by a threatening person or party. I am grateful that I won’t be concerned about exposure to COVID while casting my ballot. Many, many hundreds of thousands of people – good, honest, hardworking citizens of this country – are not as lucky.

I stand in awe of those people who sacrificed their lives so that I may vote today. And I am cheering for the perseverance and dedication of those voting today when it’s not easy … or safe for them to do so.

Do you feel the responsibility of voting? Do you take it seriously?