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Article published October 25, 2012
Show up on Nov. 6
Gerri V. Paulisick Butler
Decisions are made by those who show up. Each day I hear criticisms of our government for the perceived and real failures to which we attribute so many of our problems. If we are assigning blame, we need to first look within. We are the government, but we don’t show up. Alice Paul gave her life in 1917 fighting for the right of women to vote. Yet, on Election Day 2010, only 66.6 percent of eligible women voters in the United States were registered. And of those, fewer than half showed up. Herbert Lee was murdered in 1961 for helping minorities register to vote in Mississippi. Yet, in the 2008 presidential election, when the first minority candidate for president was on the ballot, only 64 percent of the total eligible voters in this country cast a ballot. How many members of our own families died in wars protecting our democracy, yet in the 2008 presidential election, only 30 percent of the military personnel voted. In the last general election in Butler County, in November 2011, only 25.12 percent of the registered voters, or 16 percent of the total population of Butler County, bothered to cast a vote. Think it doesn’t matter? Ask anyone who has dealt with the county commissioners elected in 2011. Decisions are made by those who show up. On Nov. 6, show up.