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Voting privilege

Letter to the Editor | Thursday, October 30, 2008

Every morning on my way into work at the human rights bureau at the State Department, I pass by a powerful image many of you have probably seen in the media: the picture of an Iraqi woman giving the peace sign, her right index finger stained purple after she voted in the 2005 elections. It’s a reminder about democracy in action – never perfect, rarely easy – but nevertheless the only political system built on the premise that all citizens should have a say in the governance process. That’s an idea that we sort of take for granted in this country, even to the extent of getting lazy about exercising our constitutional right to vote.

So many times over the past few election cycles we have heard criticism of our generation as apathetic and indifferent to social issues or civic engagement. During our time at Notre Dame, we do a great deal to dispel that notion as we demonstrate our passion for an extraordinary range of issues. But there is still the possibility that when it gets down to the wire, some of us may not go to the polls or send in an absentee ballot. Maybe due to indecision, lack of spare time, or doubt that our votes will really matter this time around. Do not let that be you on Nov. 4.

If the fact that this election is critical for the future of our country as we face daunting challenges on nearly every policy front is not a sufficient reason, then I urge you to think again about the sacrifices people all over the world have made for freedom and recognition of their rights through the ballot box. Voting is fundamental to faithful citizenship. Voting is also easy. So let’s make sure NDVOTES on Nov. 4.

Michael McKenna

alumnus

Class of 2008

Oct. 30