One small sign can say so much – ‘Vote Here‘. Vehicles pulling up to park. Voters making their way into a polling station. It’s usually a humble sign they see… with an arrow pointing the way toward democracy. There are few if any freedoms more cherished and more critical to the common good.
I voted last week in the U.S. election. It was a beautiful fall day – there were healthy lines, along wth a healthy outlook. People were sociable to each other, and seemed quite comfortable, because it’s all so natural here. Still, I’d say many in the States don’t think all that often just how fortunate we are, in comparison to some.
Fortunate to walk into a building, fill out a ballot in peace and privacy, and play a role in who tomorrow’s leader will be.
This year while I voted – as I watched people slide their ballot into the machine – I have to admit I actually felt jolts of anger inside. I had time for a few minutes to reflect on the millions around the world denied this fundamental right. It is maddening, and saddening, too. I was also upset because of what I believe are patently obvious voter suppression efforts in the States this year. Any step to do that is outrageous.
Unfortunately, for millions, suppression is no stranger. A peaceful, democratic transition to power is nowhere near as common as it should be. In fact, in so many places around the world, there is no transition to “new” governing officials… for decades. What happens, then, as power is aggregated and unchallenged, is never good.
And in many nations where there is voting, the process is far from transparent, rarely run carefully, or protected from corruption. It’s a kind of cruel farce.
Here at Let’s All Be Free, we want to hear how you feel about the right to vote, or not having it. We want to know what’s happening in your country or community – on the front lines. How you have experienced this freedom, or why you’ve never have the opportunity to taste it.
Comments are welcome on our Facebook and Twitter pages, or in the form of photos, comments, articles or videos you can submit to our website here. It’s a personal thing, to take part in an election – or not to be able to. We want to know how you have been personally affected.
If there are signs in your town, province or country saying ‘Vote Here‘, or something similar, we’d love to post them. They may be the most meaningful signs most of us will ever see. The freedom to vote is not a selective right – it should be a universal one.