Senator Lisa Keim on the Importance of Voting
Exercising Your Right to Vote is Crucial
In the spring of 1789, the Constitution of the United States took effect, granting enormous powers to a new federal government.
Hello, I am Senator Lisa Keim of District 18.
Almost immediately, the Congress created by this document began drafting a second one that placed great restrictions on these powers.
This was a collection of ten amendments to the Constitution which became known as the Bill of Rights, and it laid out the protections that every American, from the poorest to the wealthiest, the least powerful to the most, has against the power of the federal government.
Remarkably, in the 231 years that have passed since, we have made only 17 additional changes to the Constitution.
We are in the midst of another election to determine who will be in government and control these powers. This is one of the most important right we have as a citizen. If we are to maintain a free and open society based on the Constitution and the rule of law, it is imperative that we make use of our right to vote.
It is this act of voting that creates the greatest check on the power of government. Every few years, those in power must stand before the people to be re-elected. To the extent that the people vote in large numbers and hold government accountable, we can maintain the individual liberties guaranteed to us by our Constitution and its Bill of Rights.
Our right to free speech, to bear arms, to be free of unlawful searches and seizures, and many other protections from intrusions on our lives all depend on whether we exercise our right to vote. When we do not vote, those rights can slowly ebb away.
When we vote, we confirm the idea that the most powerful government officials, right up to the President of the United States, can only maintain power if we the people allow it.
When only certain types of people regularly vote –urban, rural, young, old, rich, poor – it is their needs and desires that get the most attention from government. For example, young people go to the polls in far fewer numbers than their older neighbors, bringing issues like Social Security and Medicare in sharp focus, that voter engagement shapes the dialog and influences policy at every level of government.
It may not seem like it when you step behind the curtain at your town office on Election Day, or fill out your absentee ballot at home, but casting your vote is a very powerful act of accountability. Our government exists only through our consent.
So, the short story is, get out and vote. It will probably be the most powerful thing you do all year.
Again, I am Senator Lisa Keim of District 18.
You have a few days left to vote. Make your voice counts!