Are you a strong candidate for not voting this election season? If you do not know at least 2 or more campaign platform priorities of the candidate of choice or have no idea who or what a candidate, referendum or piece of legislation will really do for you and your family, do yourself and community a favor and stay home on election day!
Watching the recent Presidential debates, and listening to the clamor coming from those watching wherever I go. I am amazed that many people do not understand the power and significance of an educated vote. Clinton, Saunders, O’Malley, Trump, Cruz, Rubio. These are the candidates glaring at us from all media outlets, but these are NOT the candidates that if elected will primarily control how we live in our neighborhoods. It is the state and local lawmakers that will! I am amazed because I happen to live in the mecca of African American accomplishment – Prince George’s County, Maryland – b.k.a. “Gorgeous Prince Georges”. Large estate homes, luxury vehicles, mega churches and highly educated citizens with good government and corporate jobs.
The Board of Elections has added to my amazement. They reported in the last major election in 2014, out of 544,677 registered voters in the county, only 207,131 people voted. This means 38% of these educated and well-off people showed up to vote. In 2010, when President Barack Obama ran for his second term only 45% showed up to vote! But Grand moms and Grand dads did – because they remember when they could not vote and will accept rides – walkers and canes in tow, to the polls from strangers hired by candidates running for office just to cast their vote. It’s their duty they say. We all should take heed, but for some reason many don’t.
I happened to have run for office in 2014 for a State Delegate seat in a District in Maryland where according to the Census Bureau over 55% of the citizens happen to look like me – an African American women. However, a 70+ year old white male was able to win the seat. I suppose he knows more about the issues African American women face and identify with them more? This tells me that not only do our people not show up enough to vote, but when we do, we are not making educated decisions about how to cast our votes. Now I am not amazed, I am greatly disturbed. Please don’t tell me that our vote falls to the names/candidates at the top of the ballot that start with “A”, cute names or people who send bogus literature in the mail, or to the one with our sorority or fraternity colors on their signage? We got a sticker and we feel good? But who did we vote for?
How we are fooled by the colorful so-called “official” ballot literature with photos that bombard our mailboxes during election time from candidates willing to fabricate and tell you anything for your vote. Oh! I cannot forget the Birthday and Christmas cards too! Not to mention the frenzy like atmosphere at the polls with poll workers shoving literature at voters vying for votes because they know most people showing up will not properly research candidates. Our vote is courted like a 16 year old boy in heat. He really does not care about you when he sends the Valentine or buys the teddy bear. All he wants is… TROPHY! NEXT!
Some of these candidates’ legislation have been responsible for a lack of jobs in our community, preventing employees from earning sick leave, taking more taxes out of paychecks and cutting funding from our children’s schools, but if one person on this so-called “official” ballot is recognized or endorsed ALL names on the ballot get the vote. “TRAGIC MAJIC” is what I call this practice.
When did we become so lackadaisical and loose with casting our vote and duped?
An educated vote is what the 1% that controls this country fears. I challenge you during this election season to research each and every candidate on the ballot, especially those in your community like you would research the best price to pay for a car, the best school for your children or the best neighborhood to live in. If you don’t the person who wins the election may end up causing you to wish you did.