I've often heard it said that our vote honors a veteran. As we approach this upcoming election, how many of us really think about the men and women who have given their lives so that we can have the priviledge to be able to vote? I was fortunate, having spent ten years in the U.S. Air Force, that the need to fight a war never came up during my term of service. But I still am filled with gratitude for those who answered the call and I try to make it a point to vote whenever I can... out of respect.
Many people find it a bother to vote, particularly in the bigger elections like the one approaching in two weeks. With The Office of The President of the United States on the ballet, the lines will be long and some will balk at the time investment required. Will their one vote even matter in the long run? I know here in Kansas, many people believe it is pointless to vote in presidential elections since the Kansas electoral votes always go to the Republican candidate. You know that before the election even begins. Presidential candidates don't even campaign in Kansas and many folks see no point in the whole affair.
Myself, though I am a diehard voter, I also feel no great desire to stand in long lines so this election I requested an advance ballot as did my husband. This week, our ballots arrived in the mail and we immediately sat down to complete them so they could be returned in time to be counted. The first few offices were easy. They were federal offices... choose your candidate, fill in the dots, easy enough. Then there were the states offices (senate and house of representatives) in our district along with a lengthy list of local races. For each of the state offices as well as the other choices on the ballot (except for one, I believe), there was only a Republican candidate running unopposed. The other parties had not offered a candidate. I cannot speak for the other districts in Kansas, or even in Wichita, but that is what was offered on the ballot in my district. I was stunned.
Now, this does not necessarily bother me because I favor one party or the other but rather because it speaks of a larger loss of participation in the process as a whole. Where are the choices and what has happened to the two party system? This goes way beyond voter apathy. Is anyone else disillusioned by this?