Should citizens register to vote? A recent opinion piece in the New York Times describes how people vote when they are energized, out of pride or anger. The author, Basil Smikle continues to explain that typically voter participation is low.
This apathy toward voting is troubling, as the engagement of America's citizens is directly attributed to her elected representatives. Perhaps it is a hassle to get to the poling booth, perhaps work or other obligations get in the way. Perhaps a person feels that his or her vote will not make a difference. Unfortunately, some vote the party line, not having a clue about positions taken by the candidates.
This apathy, sadly, has led to the sorry state of affairs in which America finds herself. If America is only energized by pride or anger, as the New York Times piece suggests, her citizens should re-evaluate their position.
Why register to vote? A full 14 percent of Americans, 33 million citizens, believe they are registered, but are not. To find out simply if one is registered, a simple tool can be found here.
The story of Jonathon Schrag should be read by all Americans as an example of what one citizen can achieve: accountability for government officials. Whether one is right or left in the political spectrum, he or she should shrug off the anger and the pride and take part in the process. Is protesting and shouting helping the American people? The answer lies, and always has, in engagement. Vote for the person who best consistently demonstrates a commitment to deeply held positions. The answer is to vote.