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Voter registration deadline nears

October 19, 2012

Monday, October 22nd is the last day to register to vote in the upcoming November election.  And if you’re still one of the people who doesn’t know why you should vote, then here are a few reasons.

In his 1967 Inauguration speech Governor Ronald Reagan spoke to Californians about the miracle of transferring power by way of the electoral process.  Reagan was a Republican newcomer to politics who succeeded the wildly popular Governor Pat Brown and would himself be succeeded by another Brown Democrat – Pat’s son Jerry. Reflecting on this process of transition, Reagan reminded us that “Freedom is a fragile thing and is never more than one generation away from extinction. It is not ours by inheritance; it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation...” Truer words haven't been spoken.  But the term “freedom” has become such an inseparable part of our American identity and values for so many years that many people take it for granted.  

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We associate the image of defending freedom most often with the men and women in our military and to a lesser extent with our role on the home front in support of their braver service. Yet there’s something that we all can do to ensure that the perpetuity of freedom for all Americans is certain for the generations to come.  How? By being an active participant in the upcoming November General Election. 

Voting is what supports the foundation of our democratic system of self-governance.  It is what our founders fought for and many who came after have struggled to achieve since our country’s birth.  From women’s suffrage to the civil rights movement, this most basic right – the freedom to express your opinion on the future of America – has been passed down to our generation through struggle and sacrifice.  It is for us to preserve and pass on to the next generation.  But the statistics show a disappointing trend.  Most of us may talk the talk when it comes to platitudes about patriotic duty.  But according to the California Secretary of State’s website (www.sos.ca.gov) less than half of the eligible voting population voted in our last two statewide elections.  The June 5 Primary was especially disappointing as the turnout was an anemic 16.3%.  

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