Day of Democracy 2016

The United Nations has declared September 15 as the International Day of Democracy.

Voters proudly display their registration cards as they wait to vote in the first peaceful, democratic presidential elections in Haiti's history (1990).

Voters proudly display their registration cards as they wait to vote in the first peaceful, democratic presidential elections in Haiti’s history (1990).

Democracy and voting are very much on the minds of U.S. citizens now. Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016, will be the 58th quadrennial U.S. presidential election. Putting it politely, it has been an unusual campaign season. Who will win the popular vote? Who will the members of the electoral college choose?

The right to vote is essential to any democracy. With that right comes a duty. You have to register to vote and actually cast a ballot. Simple enough, or isn’t it? I have learned the stories of many people, from many countries, who have faced intimidation and death to be able to secure the right to vote.

That is why I am always puzzled to hear some young people say they are not planning to vote. Many say it is because they don’t like the choice of candidates or they don’t believe one vote will make a difference. If you feel your choice is limited now, wait until you have someone else’s choice thrust upon you. Remember, sometimes a single vote can make the difference between winning and losing. Most of all, never forget the power of one vote (and like-minded votes) multiplied one million times or more.

For those in the United Sates who are interested in registering to vote visit: http://www.rockthevote.com/

UN Photo|Milton Grant

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