“For lack of guidance a nation falls, but victory is won through many advisers.” – Proverbs 11:14
As I was growing up, I saw how my paternal grandfather fought the “perfect dictatorship” that existed in Mexico. He didn’t do it with acts of violence, however. He did it through the political process. Even in his old age, he would go to the polling stations and observe and make sure that every vote was counted. He rallied members of the opposition’s party to get out to vote and to be more involved in local politics. When he passed away, leaders of his party — including a former governor of the state of Chihuahua — attended his funeral and stood in an “honor guard” by his casket for an hour.
The perfect dictatorship ended in 2000, when the opposition party finally had one of their candidates elected to the presidency. Two years earlier, the congress has finally broken the dominance of the dictatorial party. Sadly, my grandfather didn’t live long enough to see it all happen, but I like to believe that his work had a lot to do with it.
That election in 2000 was the first election I voted in, by the way.
I was not able to vote in the United States until I became a citizen a few years ago. My first election was a local primary. Then I voted in the 2012 Presidential election here. I plan to vote this coming Tuesday, and all of you who can should too.
To the reasonable people out there, I don’t need to explain why you need to vote. I don’t need to tell you that us voting and encouraging others who can to also vote can and does have an effect on the world around us. Remember Florida in 2000? How many votes separated Bush and Gore in that one or two counties that could have swung the whole thing? In 2012 it was Colorado and Ohio that made the difference. In 2016, it could be your state or mine. You never know.
In 2014, the balance of power in the US Senate, and several governorships, including in the state where I live, are up for grabs. So it is very important that we all head out and make sure that the eventual winners see how big their support and their opposition was.
For the unreasonable people, there’s nothing I can tell you.
You can use the tool below to find your polling station and any other information you need to know before heading out and exercising your right to vote.
René F. Najera, DrPH
I'm a Doctor of Public Health, having studied at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.
All opinions are my own and in no way represent anyone else or any of the organizations for which I work.
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