We the people...
Our founders vision about "we the people" voting was conditioned by the times. Voting rights were narrowly defined, granting suffrage to white male property owners over age twenty-one years of age. Amendments to the Constitution of the United States, and civil rights legislation over our 244 year history have broadened voting rights to include every United States citizen who is eighteen years of age and meets state residency and registration requirements. Of our current population estimated at 328,100,000, roughly 250,056,000 are voting age. Although there is no official account of registered voters in the United States, it is believed that around 153,000,000 are thus registered. In the 2016 Presidential election, 138,847,000 actually cast votes. Do the math. Barely 61% of eligible voters are registered. Slightly more than 55% voted in the 2016 Presidential race.
A huge question is whether or not we really desire for more Americans to vote! Like most questions with political edges it depends on who you ask. The demographers at Gallup estimate that 31% of Americans are affiliated with the Democratic Party, 26% with the Republican Party, and 41% aligned as Independents. They all have their preferences in the new voter category. And, let's not go there. Identifying party favorites requires more profiling than I'd like to dive into this week. That will come later, when I'm getting more specific and personal about the 2020 election.
So, for the moment, just right now, forget the politicians, the political parties, the hacks and pundits, the platforms and planks, and your own snipes. Would you like to see more people exercising the franchise, you know, going to the polls? If you don't have an opinion, or your answer is the party line, then take a few minutes, enjoy a cookie or your favorite beverage, and just veg for a couple of minutes. Pay attention for a minute if you'd like to see more Americans at the polls. There's some personal action steps you can take---
Volunteer to assist someone is registering to vote. Chances are you have family, friends and neighbors who are not registered to vote. Voter registration materials are on -line. Help people important to you make this "we the people" decision. If you're in South Carolina and are interested, click here.
On election day, take someone to the polls. Polling locations are situated throughout the state of South Carolina, in virtually every community or local neighborhood. You can find great information about voting in South Carolina, including all of the polling places, by clicking here.
Teach the younger Americans in your family and community the blessings of the Constitution of the United States and the right of "we the people" to vote. Click here for a guide to US election law and voting.
If our founders saw "we the people" as the groundwork of forming a more perfect union, there's a bigger picture here than me and me alone. "We the people" was certainly more than a gimmick phrase for them. It was the foundational principle of this union, the shared blessings of unique governance and life in these United States. Yes, even now, United. And, like it or not, they were governed by spirituals beliefs that gave them hope in such a "one nation" concept. Consider these verses---
For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an
opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
Galatians 5: 13, ESV
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more
significant than yourselves.
Philippians 2: 3, ESV
Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
1 Thessalonians 5: 11, ESV
No, I'm not asserting that our founders used these Bible verses to formulate their thoughts about our national Constitution. But, they are biblical ideals that should give us impetus to help others, regardless of the need. Even in voting.
You see, it's what "we the people" is all about! And, that is a voting matter that matters.
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