Past sacrifices aren’t the only reason to vote

SHARE Past sacrifices aren’t the only reason to vote

I still vote the old-fashioned way.

I could have voted early, but I like the challenge of getting to the polls on Election Day. 

When I was raising a family, a child’s unexpected temperature could keep me from getting out the house, or I miscalculated how late I had to work and the polls closed.

But the biggest obstacle to voting is always our own apathy. 

Despite the unprecedented amount of money that was spent in the Illinois governor’s race, politicos are nonetheless expecting a sorry turnout. In fact, mid-term elections have historically meant a lower vote count.

Indeed, it is hard to believe that at one point — at least for black voters and women — people were willing to suffer humiliation, loss of employment and physical abuse for the right to cast a ballot. 

I am still in awe whenever the name of Fannie Lou Hamer comes up.

A sharecropper, Hamer was born in Montgomery County, Mississippi, in 1917. She became a leading figure in the fight for civil rights when she decided to register to vote. Besides being kicked off the plantation where she lived and worked for decades, Hamer was arrested and severely beaten for helping to organize the 1964 Freedom Summer African-American voter registration drive in Mississippi.

“I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired,” Hamer told a Credentials Committee of the Democratic National Convention in 1964.

That’s something you should ask yourself today if you are tempted not to vote.

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