Voting old school in Peru, Maine.
Photo: Just Us 3

Today is Election Day, and over the years after all the challenges to our Constitutional rights, after all the gerrymandering, corruption, and influence pedaling, the hard work of our Founding Fathers continues to yield positive results.

Today we still have the right to vote.

Not everyone in the world has that right. It is a right won with blood of patriots and one that is defended only by those who care enough to renew that honorable stain.

Our rights are challenged now every bit as much as at any other time in history. As long as greed and hate exist in the world, our way of life will be at risk. Our values will be questioned, and our attempt at democracy will be at odds with the wants and desires of a wealthy few.

But money won’t always decide political races. The selection ultimately rests not with dollars, but in the hands of the people.

We are confronted with unexpected and unwanted challenges: Exported jobs, contaminated imports, and a scandalous financial situation, all of which might have been prevented. They threaten our nation and our world. The ballots we mark today will doubtless decide our fate for years to come, perhaps the futures of our children as well.

This day should be celebrated as no other, but if the recent past is a guide, no more than 60% of us will bother to vote. When the call to arms issued forth in Lexington and Concord, what would have been the outcome if only 60% had come to the Commons?

No matter what the outcome of individual races or voter turnout, Americans have won again because the voting is taking place with choices on the ballots.

I am a candidate for office this year and I am humbled. I will spend the day waiting to be picked or rejected. Either way I am proud, because not only have I voted, I have stepped forward, placed myself on the line.

I have bothered to try.

Unworthy as I am, I can only feel that I stand in the shadow of patriots.

For those of you who neglect to vote, a very different shadow is cast upon you.

At least for today, be a grateful American. Vote!

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