VOTE

Think your vote doesn’t count? Then why are people trying to suppress it? Why would stakeholders and legislatures nationwide introduce policies to make it difficult for your voice to be heard by the casting of your ballot?

And why would states across the country, from the period of American slavery to present, pass measures to make it harder for U.S. citizens — particularly black people, indigenous people, women, the elderly, students and people with disabilities — to exercise their fundamental right to cast a ballot? Why, in the early founding of this nation, would only property-owning, white men be allowed to vote?

If your vote did not count, why would young college students (or any human being) subject themselves to water hoses, beatings, the risk of being hanged and domestic terrorism throughout the United States to achieve a right that meant nothing?

If your vote did not count, why would there be a need for the 1965 Voting Rights Act, extending underrepresented groups the right to vote, and why would that same Voting Rights Act be in jeopardy in 2013? Why specifically is that act revisited time and time again in state courts and the nation’s capital? Why isn’t this act a permanent victory for you and those historically faced with threats to their right to vote?

If your vote did not count, why did Grace Bell Hardison, a 100-year-old bed-ridden woman, write a letter to President Obama saying, “I can’t vote”? Just weeks before early voting, Hardison received a notice from the North Carolina voter registration board that she would be removed from the voting roll “if she did not appear at a county board election meeting or return a notarized form” — something she couldn’t physically do. Why would voting matter so much to someone with so much else to be concerned about if it meant nothing?

If your vote did not count, why would Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump tell his supporters to “go to your place and vote, and then go pick some other place…sit there with your friends and make sure it’s on the up-and-up?” Why would Trump direct his followers to “watch polls” in predominately black and Hispanic urban areas?

What is he so afraid of? Your vote.

More than ever, we need people to go to the polls and cast votes. After Nov. 8 there are no do-overs. If we don’t want our future to look like our past, we need to use the rights we’ve earned through so many marches, protests and lost lives. Your vote, our votes, do count. Let’s use them. SO GO FCUKING DO IT.

Mi’iwi [that’s all]

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