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Top ten reasons why I'm voting

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Commentary by Laura Smith

After visiting a military cemetery in Little Rock recently and seeing 25,000 white grave stones of those who gave their lives for our country I felt compelled to share with readers the Ten Top Reasons to Vote, from my friend Jack Levine. When you see row after row of those white grave stones across a large area it is hard not to break down and cry. You wonder about the stories behind each man or woman who gave their life for our freedoms. It is imperative that each one of us reflex on the lives given for us and to take elections very seriously. They died for us and so we must vote to uphold our democracy and give thanks for the freedoms we have, never taking them for granted. Reasons to vote:
1.    To honor those in our military who courageously fight for us and our law enforcement officers, firefighters and emergency workers who respond to our needs and defend the peace at home.
2.    To honor people who struggled for civil rights, women’s suffrage, disability and equal rights and the ideals of justice.
3.    To be a good example to our children by exercising the right to vote as a symbol of our faith in democracy.
4.    Voting is our society’s great equalizer. No matter our station in life, income, ethnic heritage or social status, every citizen over 18 has the same power of vote.
5.    Pollsters do not determine who winds elections; voters do. They too only have one vote on election day.
6.    Elections should not be about negative ads. Voting for candidates in whom we believe, and for or against ballot initiatives we know will affect our future.
7.    Access to registration information and early voting is available to those people who want their voices heard. Democracy is a team sport…and spectators simply don’t count.
8.     It’s vital to be an informed voter. Pay attention to news reports and editorials about the campaigns. Try to note what the candidates message is for this important role. Nonvoters are voiceless.
9.    Regret is preventable. Nov. 9 is one day too late, and “could have, should have” are sorry alternatives to acting. Commit to voting and by example encourage family, friends and others to take a positive approach and vote.
10.    Be part of making history. This election points to the prospect that the 2016 election will have an impact for years/decades to come. Being a participate in affecting history gives each of us a sense of pride in participation and the power to touch the future.
And there you have it. The Top Ten reasons of why I will be voting on Tuesday, Nov. 8.

Laura Smith is the Oak Run Correspondent for the South Marion Citizen.