Facebook Twitter

Voting process a privilege that should be safeguarded

SHARE Voting process a privilege that should be safeguarded

My good friend and neighbor Lon Wardrop is a guy with a lot of energy, and much of that energy is spent making sure his six kids grow up well.

To that end, he and his wife, Sheryl, have established a set of "house rules."

One evening, as they were pulling out of the driveway, they noticed their youngest son, Weston, riding his motorized bike. Lon called Weston over and sternly asked, "Weston, why am I not happy?"

Weston, knowing he was in the wrong, quickly responded, "I'm not wearing shoes, and I'm not wearing a helmet," the two rules of riding his bike.

"That's right," answered Lon, "and you've lost your privileges. Go inside, take a shower and get ready for bed right now!"

Weston immediately ran into the house and took a shower. As he was getting out of the shower, his 17-year-old brother, Dallin, noticed that he was crying. Dallin asked him what was wrong.

Between sobs Weston cried, "I was riding my electric scooter, and I wasn't wearing shoes, and I wasn't wearing a helmet, and I've lost my privileges, and I don't know where they are! I don't even know what they are!"

Speaking of privileges, tomorrow is Election Day. How lucky are we who live in these United States? This year many people, myself included, are reading and researching each candidate. I wanted to learn more about the privilege of voting, but wasn't thrilled when I realized that it meant reading over an 87-page voter guide.

As I got into it, though, I realized how much I didn't know about the voting process.

For those who don't believe that every vote is important, just look at 1968, when Richard Nixon won by .7 percent, or in 1960, when, by a margin of .2 percent, John F. Kennedy became president. Our one vote counts, as it makes us a participant.

Early in our country's history, only white male property owners could vote. That worked for a time as our fledgling nation grew, but it was no way to build a democracy. When other groups acquired the right to vote, more and more people began to take an interest in the issues affecting our nation. Now the requirements to vote are much simpler and less restrictive.

Of course, there are always those who try to beat the system. In Las Vegas, the office of a nonprofit group called ACORN, which deals with registering low-income voters, had their records and computers seized due to complaints about erroneous voter registrations. Suspicions arose when names of the starting lineup of the Dallas Cowboys showed up on the records.

Ross Miller, Nevada's secretary of state, announced, "Tony Romo is not registered to vote in Nevada. Anyone trying to pose as Terrell Owens won't be able to cast a ballot." Humorous? Maybe. But voter fraud is really a travesty.

The main concern for most of us is the presidential vote. In the Oct. 6, issue of Newsweek, Michael Hirsh wrote: "The two candidates do have some important things in common we can be fairly sure of. Both know a lot about the real world — they've 'pierced the veneer,' as the explorer Ernest Shackleton, one of McCain's heroes, once wrote — and are pragmatists at heart. Despite that, neither will miss a chance to trumpet the creed they learned in their youth — that America is a unique place, and its values should be an example for the world."

Let us hope that, as my friends Lon and Sheryl use their wisdom to govern their family, the newly elected leaders will guide this nation and guard our privileges. And better yet that we will realize what our privileges are and where they are.

E-mail: sasyoung2@aol.com